Former teacher involved in alleged rape of two teenage boys waives right to hearing
BY SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
EUFAULA - A former Checotah elementary school teacher who faces a 22-count indictment stemming from the alleged rape of two teenage boys waived her rights to a preliminary hearing Tuesday.
Michelle Diane McCutchan, 40, made the decision before Judge Thomas Bartheld in McIntosh County District Court with her attorneys Steve Barnes and Warren Gotcher.
Assistant District Attorney Crieg Rittenhouse said following the appearance that their recommended punishment would have been much harsher had she persisted with the preliminary hearing in which at least four juveniles as well as a female relative could have been called to testify.
“We’re trying to save the victims from going through the trauma of having to relive this,” Rittenhouse said. “If we can resolve this case without those victims having to testify and still have a sentence where she goes to prison - that’s what we want to do.”
Barnes said he is still in talks with his client and had no further comment. McCutchan is now set to be arraigned on Aug. 1.
She was charged in May 2011 with multiple counts of rape, sodomy, child neglect, furnishing alcohol to minors and possession of pornography involving four juvenile victims.
She has pleaded not guilty to all counts and is free on a $100,000 cash bond.
The rape victims were 16 years old at the time, which is the age of consent, but prosecutors pressed the charge because they attended school in the district where she taught.
The pornography charge deals with a video in McCutchan’s possession that depicts a teenage boy and girl having sex and lewd pictures of a minor girl.
McCutchan was charged with child neglect for allegedly involving a female relative in sex acts with a teenage boy.
She had taught school for 18 years.
Michelle Diane McCutchan