“No one wins today,” said Sam Talley, the defense attorney for former Luther Band Director Kyle Whitmus. He said that in a comment out in the hall of the seventh floor of the Oklahoma County Courthouse before Monday’s proceeding began to sentence his client to crimes of which Whitmus pled guilty.
The comment came as the victim in the case, the girl who was 12-years-old at the time, got off the elevator with her family and counselor surrounding her and bravely walked into the courtroom.
As the morning unfolded, the girl, her mother, her father and her counselor would testify. They recounted the facts, memories and action between December 2014 and January 2015 in which a flirtatious texting situation between teacher and student escalated into a sexual activity. In May of 2017, Whitmus pled guilty to two counts of soliciting sexual contact with a minor and no contest to a more serious charge of lewd acts with a minor. A rape charged was dismissed.
All agreed who took the stand, the victim is a different child. Once outgoing and precocious, she is now withdrawn, clinically depressed and recoils at any contact with a man, including her father.
Luther Superintendent Barry Gunn also testified this morning about some trouble Whitmus had been in previously with another student. The 2012 incident involved taking a student to lunch off campus and breaking “strict” school policy about being alone with a student. Those infractions led to Whitmus’ suspension from teaching for a couple of days on two occasions and a Plan of Improvement that went in his personnel file.
Right before lunch, Whitmus’ wife testified. Separated for several years, she tearfully read a statement describing the embarrassment, fear and trauma her daughters have suffered, including teasing at school and shunning by family members. Suspicious her husband was involved with another student, she said today she is riddled with guilt and remorse that she didn’t “shout it from the rooftops” to try to prevent it from happening to the victim in this case.
After a lunch break, the defense will call witnesses to help reduce the sentence for Whitmus who has been in the Oklahoma County Jail for 17 months. Maximum punishment is 30 years incarceration.
Judge Glenn Jones will impose sentence likely later today.