SHAWNEE, Okla. (KFOR) — The victim at the center of the trial for Ronald Gene Arthur, the Shawnee High School coach and athletic director on trial for engaging in online sexual communications with underage teens, took the stand for a second day Wednesday.
The defense spent the morning questioning the victim. He was a 17-year-old student in 2021 who claimed to have met Arthur on an online dating app before the two had a sexual relationship.
Rob Hair was in the courtroom again Wednesday.
He testified Tuesday about his experience with Arthur back in 2007.
He said he was a teenage student when he started emailing Arthur back and forth through Craigslist. The two reportedly shared sexually explicit conversations and pictures.
“It’s harder for males to come up and say something,” said Hair. “I’m just here to support, to let them know that you have a story to tell.”
The state called on Vanessa Guinn, a forensic interviewer from the Child Advocacy Center of Central Oklahoma who interviewed the main victim after he came forward.
She testified about signs of grooming, which the state wanted to prove was part of Arthur’s routine.
The trial for the high school coach has been one of several sexual assault cases that have left a stain on the state school system’s ability to protect students.
“We have seen time and time again that it’s it is evident there is a problem,” said Hair. “I think that there is a job to do, and I think that there are education systems who have failed to do that.”
The state is expected to show jurors video evidence in the coming days, in what has already been an agonizing trial for alleged victims.
“I’m hoping that it brings closure to the victims, and I hope that what this brings out is a chance for victims who may be out there to tell their story and to let them know that you have support,” said Hair.
The trial will pick back up for day three on Thursday.