Teacher arrested in teen sex case
BY RHETT MORGAN & ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writers
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
7/11/12 at 8:08 AM
CLAREMORE - A Sequoyah Middle School choir teacher who is accused of having a five-month sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student was arrested Monday, authorities said.
Mark Thomas Buchanan, 34, of Claremore was jailed on four complaints of first-degree rape, six complaints of lewd or indecent proposals to/acts with a child and eight complaints of sodomy involving a victim younger than 16, Rogers County Sheriff's Deputy Jerry Smittle said.
Buchanan, who is in the Rogers County Jail with bail set at $660,000, is due back in court July 18, Smittle said.
Buchanan reportedly had a sexual relationship with the teenager from January to June 1, Smittle said. He had sex with the girl in a closet attached to the choir room, authorities said.
The teacher sent many text messages and nude photos of himself to the teenager, investigators said.
On Monday, investigators spoke to Buchanan's wife, who confirmed that Mark Buchanan told her about the relationship once the teenager told him that she might be pregnant, Sheriff Scott Walton said.
At the same time, Buchanan reportedly told the girl he would marry her, Walton said.
The girl later found that she was not pregnant, and Buchanan's wife notified authorities, Walton said.
Buchanan, who has worked for the school district for six years, has been suspended with pay, Superintendent Terry Saul said.
"School districts are very similar to cities, small and large," he said. "We're in the people business. We experience the successes of those people and also the failures.
"Thankfully, here at Sequoyah, we've had an enormous amount of success and very few of those failures. Along with a city, you have the criminal element. Unfortunately, today, we're dealing with that."
Buchanan primarily taught choir but assisted one hour with the band, Saul said.
"We have a strong school family," he said.
"We're going to support each other and start putting those pieces back together and moving forward and get back to the mission of teaching kids and allowing them to love to learn."
Buchanan is the third Rogers County teacher to be arrested on child-sex complaints since May 24.
Foyil teacher Jeffery Loveless Harris, 34, of Chelsea was arrested that day on three complaints of lewd or indecent proposals to/acts with a child.
Jason Ward, 37, resigned from his teaching and coaching position at Foyil High School before turning himself in May 31 on complaints of rape by instrumentation, lewd molestation and sodomy.
Rhett Morgan 918-581-8395 Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486
Mark Thomas Buchanan: He was arrested on 18 complaints with bail set at $660,000. His wife notified authorities about the relationship