OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma state senator says the attorney general’s office is requesting more information regarding his call for a multi-county grand jury investigation.
Recently, Sen. Shane Jett called for a multi-county grand jury investigation into Shawnee Public Schools and the now-former coach, Ron Arthur. Pottawatomie County investigators said the 51 year old groomed and sexually abused students for at least 15 years while the district allegedly covered it up.
“He, to me, seemed like he was untouchable,” said Pottawatomie County Deputy Amber Soule, who’s been the lead investigator on the case. “I couldn’t even begin to tell you the amount of students that he has groomed.”
Investigators said Arthur scouted his victims, using the internet student athlete database Rank One Sports. Detectives said he would look for young teen students who came from low-income and broken families.
“He had access to everything and began grooming based on those that fit his profile,” said Jett, who said he interviewed dozens of students, parents and teachers surrounding this issue. “That allowed him to look at financial information of his victims, their parents, their ethnicity, their home address, their contact information.”
Detectives said the coach would then shower the teens with money and gifts. Soule said Arthur would buy his victims shoes and phones, and would talk about taking them to sports games and the casino.
According to deputies, Arthur was not allowed to be in contact with the students because of his long history of reprimands or suspensions for the alleged inappropriate behavior.
“The punishment was so light, that it didn’t deter the behavior. And then it would be followed by promotions or an award that sent a chilling message to those that were watching,” said Jett. “There was coverups, suppression of reports, even punitive reprimands for people who brought the attention to administration.”
Arthur was arrested last August on several felony sex crime charges involving an underaged teen.
However, one of Arthur’s alleged victims says the abuse was happening years before charges were ever filed.
Since Arthur’s arrest in 2021, Soule said they now have four total victims. However, because of the statute of limitations, investigators can only use two of them in court.
According to online court documents, Arthur’s preliminary hearing is set for April 21 at 1:30 p.m.
Recently, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office said they are requesting additional information before calling for a multi-county grand jury investigation.
“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.”
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.
“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 mostly 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.”