Skiatook coach may get off without felony

Wednesday, August 9th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

An investigation into a former Skiatook High School coach continues, but parents of Skiatook student may not be happy with the ultimate result.

Osage County district attorney Larry Stuart says the making of the tape may not be a felony. In fact, it may not be a crime at all.

A News on Six investigation showed Harry “Noonie” RedEagle, Jr. putting a camera in an empty locker of the Skiatook Junior High girls locker room. RedEagle has since submitted his resignation to the Skiatook school board. The board has scheduled an emergency meeting for Thursday to consider RedEagle’s resignation.

Stuart says the felony laws that might apply to this type videotape would be indecent exposure or lewd molestation. Those charges require officers prove a number of elements involved in the crime. Among those are a motive or intention of the person making the tape. "If you prove he was going to take the picture for sexual gratification later, you've got something,” said Skiatook Sex Crimes Detective Dave Best. “Without that, all you have is a charge of outraging public decency, which is a misdemeanor”

Stuart says Skiatook police chief Dan Yancey plans to wrap up the RedEagle investigation by Friday. He says he’ll then look at all laws that might apply, but any charges that will be filed depend heavily on witness information.

The investigation continued Wednesday as police searched the Skiatook home of RedEagle. Police say RedEagle has left town, but they’re talking to him by phone. They say they have an interview set up with RedEagle next week.

Yancey says they got permission to search the home from RedEagle, but didn't find much. However, they say a computer had been removed from the home. Yancey says the police department is in the process of getting the computer back.