State Attorney General John O’Connor’s office responds to Jett’s multi-county grand jury request
OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Shane Jett, R-Shawnee, said the state Attorney General’s office contacted him acknowledging receipt of his request for a multi-county grand jury into Shawnee Public Schools and requested additional information. Jett called on Attorney General John O’Connor Wednesday (April 6) to investigate the alleged cover-up by the school district of years of accusations of student grooming and sexual assault by former coach and assistant athletic director Ron Arthur.
The 51-year-old was arrested last year and is currently facing felony charges for rape, sodomy and soliciting sexual contact by two former students, but after hearing from dozens of victims and their families, Jett believes the abuse is more widespread and most likely extends to other Oklahoma school districts where Arthur previously worked.
“We are pleased to have received a prompt call from the Attorney General’s office responsive to our request for investigation and have been assured they will thoroughly review the complaints,” Jett said.
“Our schools are supposed to protect students first and foremost, but it appears that didn’t happen for these victims.”
Jett held a press conference April 6 at the state Capitol where one of the alleged victims, his mother, and local law enforcement shared their stories and knowledge of the ongoing case. Speakers included Pottawatomie County Sheriff Michael Booth, Pottawatomie County Deputy Sheriff Amber Soule, Delinda Curtis and her son, Rob Hair (who said he was a victim of Arthur in 2006 and 2007 during his freshman year at Shawnee High School).
“After hearing the many horrific stories of grooming, manipulation and abuse, if found guilty, it’s evident that this is an extremely sick individual and he most likely didn’t start preying on children when he got to Shawnee,” Jett said.
“These victims and their families deserve justice, and we want to ensure there weren’t more victims at his other schools. But justice doesn’t just apply to Arthur, we also want Shawnee Public Schools, their administration, superintendent, and school board to be held accountable if they in fact ignored reports of abuse and harassment over the years and intimidated victims and their families into silence.”
Arthur worked for Ponca City Public Schools from 1993-2001, Muskogee Public Schools from 2001-2002, and as a recruiter for high school students at Northeastern A&M College from 2002-2004. He was hired by Shawnee Public Schools in 2004 and worked there until his arrest in 2021.
Note: Senator Jett’s letter to Attorney General O’Connor can be read here: https://www.capitolbeatok.com/reports/oklahoma-senator-jett-of-shawnee-wants-state-a-g-to-investigate-sexual-assault-investigation-of-shawnee-schools/ .