Ex-teacher waives right to prelim
Former Clinton Middle School math teacher Keri Hoffman waived her right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday on four felony charges stemming from an alleged sexual relationship with a 15-year-old male student.
Ms. Hoffman was ordered to reappear Sept. 24 at 1:30 p.m. to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the charges. She is presently free on $30,000 bond, which was lowered from an initial amount of $120,000. The charges were filed in April, and her bond was modified in May to show that she had been placed on house arrest and ordered to wear a GPS device.
The charges are facilitating sexual conduct with a minor by electronic technology, two counts of second-degree rape, and engaging in a pattern of criminal offenses.
An affidavit written by Special Agent Trevor Ridgeway of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says Facebook communications escalated to actual sexual encounters in March and April this year. Ridgeway said Ms. Hoffman admitted to him that she and the 15-year-old student had sex on March 30, April 2 and 3, and possibly April 5. The three April dates coincided with days on which she took students to participate in teacher walkouts at the State Capitol; however, the sex apparently occurred when she picked the 15-year-old up or when she dropped him off after they returned.
The boy told Ridgeway he was a student of hers at the time of their relationship.
Hoffman was reportedly nearing the end of her 11th year as a Clinton school teacher when it allegedly took place. She had notified school officials prior to her arrest on April 8 that she would no longer be employed with the school system.
Her bond conditions listed specific locations she was not permitted to go. They did allow her to attend counseling sessions, to travel to and from work if it was a job approved by the courts, and to transport her children for visitations with their father from whom she had separated, if visitation was allowed in the divorce decree.
Other terms of the bond included no Internet access unless it was connected to her court-approved employment, no smart phone, and no access to social media in any manner. Also, no contact with minors was allowed unless they were immediate family members.
Special District Judge Donna Dirickson accepted her waiver of the preliminary hearing. First Assistant District Attorney Ricky McPhearson represented the state. He and Ms. Dirickson are opposing each other for the position of associate district judge in this fall’s elections.
Jill Weedon, the present associate district judge, will be moving up to the position of district judge since she did not draw an opponent. The present district judge, Doug Haught, announced sometime ago that he would not seek reelection.