Rape charges filed against former Dickson teacher

By: Lauren Smith
By: Lauren Smith

Carter County District Attorney Craig Ladd says child sex abuse charges have been filed against former Dickson cheer coach and teacher Stephenie Ringwald.

Those include two counts of second degree rape and two other sex crime charges.

This 18 year old boy, whose identity we're protecting, says he met Ringwald when he was a student at Dickson high school, but was not a student when his relationship with her started.

"We started hanging out after I got out... And then we started... We had sex... And that went on for a little while..."

His mother does not want to be identified, but says these charges were a long time coming.

"I feel good about it... And I feel sick about it... and... I hate it."

She says the sheriff's office told her since her son was over the age of 16, the age of consent in Oklahoma, there were no criminal charges she could file.

"It's affected our family and it's very disturbing."

Bridgit Vaughn is another parent who's relieved that charges have been filed.

"My daughter was one of the ones given alcohol... And other things... Exposed to some of the pornography and the drugs and things that had been done around them," Vaughn said.

The Carter County Sheriff's Office says they first received complaints of Ringwald's alleged sexual misconduct and providing alcohol to students, from students and parents August 29th.

The investigation spans from early June to the start of school.

"It's very hard to cope with. Very hard. It's kind of like being on an emotional roller coaster. You're up one minute and down the next... It's a lot to take in," says Vaughn.

Ringwald resigned from her teaching position earlier this school year. Ringwald's mother and superintendent of Dickson schools, Sherry Howe, also resigned on October 1st.

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