Hulbert coach facing charges of outraging public decency for incident involving student

The Cherokee county DA is filing charges against a Hulbert coach for allegedly flicking a lanyard at the bottom of a 13 year-old girl. (Mummolo/KTUL)

Cherokee County District Attorney Jack Thorp says he’s approved two charges of outraging public decency against a Hulbert football coach for an alleged incident involving a 13-year-old student.

It’s an uncomfortable topic for a very small town and getting anyone to talk about it is like pulling teeth. At the core of the awkwardness, how to protect youth if the allegations turn out to be true, while at the same time not ruining a reputation if the man is found to be innocent.

"I don’t know whether he ought to be charged or not," said 79-year-old Jerry Grooms, hearing about the allegations against the football coach for the first time.

The coach allegedly flicked his lanyard twice at the bottom of a 13-year-old student and that the incident was caught on video.

"Might have been just a coincidence. I mean just a, you know, a deal, get over there," he said.

The Hulbert Superintendent says that the school investigated the matter and that essentially no wrong doing was discovered, but an investigation by the sheriff’s office found enough to turn over their findings to the DA who’s pressing charges.

"Back, like I said, I raised my kids up, one of ‘em born in '60, '62, and '64, so, you know, coach would go back and slap one of the boys on the rump; you never thought no more about it," he said.

At the same time, says Grooms, you can never be too careful, as he illustrated with an example totally unrelated to the current individual facing charges.

"Well, we’re raising a grandson there, and he was, I forgot where we was, but this guy come over and talking to him, and I made sure I got there 'cause I didn’t know if he meant anything or not, but he didn’t. He looked a little weird, so I was going to make sure he didn’t have nothing on his mind," he said.

Tulsa's Channel 8 has reached out to the man facing charges but has yet to hear back.

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