Allegations of misconduct temporarily suspend popular community theater

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OKLAHOMA CITY - St. Luke's United Methodist officials said they have temporarily suspended all classes, shows and trips for Poteet Theatre while police conduct an investigation into one of their former employees.

Poteet Theatre is an outreach of St. Luke's and is a popular community theater program for children and adults.

Church officials held a meeting last Friday night for parents of children in the program.

Parents were informed the employee was immediately fired after learning he had violated his employee agreement and several reports of inappropriate behavior were filed with Oklahoma City police.

According to one of the reports, the employee had given several boys rings.

He allegedly sent a text message asking one boy to go and stay the night and saying he loved him.

One boy reported to police the suspect asked him to get into the bed with him while on an out of town trip and he took them to get alcohol.

On the same trip, he said the suspect "encouraged one of the other students to strip down naked, and put a sock over his private parts and then took a picture."

He also indicated the suspect "texted him multiple times over the years about how much he needs him, and loves him and wants him in his life."

Another alleged victim said, while on an out of town trip, the suspect took him "to a sex shop where he could get fitted for some thigh high boots."

The suspect has not been arrested or charged with anything at this point.

The church sent us this statement:

"We are heartbroken for the families affected by the actions of our former employee and are working closely with authorities as they look into the situation. We have been reaching out to families and are providing counseling to participants of the program. Additionally, we have temporarily suspended operations at Poteet Theater. Due to confidentiality issues, we are not able to provide additional information at this time; however our church is thankful for the community’s prayers and support.”

Rev. Phil Greenwald,
Executive Pastor of Administration
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church