Ponca City teacher facing three counts of child abuse

March 30, 2020 | Courts|Featured

NEWKIRK — Ponca City High School Physicis teacher Michael Clinton Grimes, 59, was booked in the Kay County Detention Center on March 27 on three felony charges of child abuse.

Investigators report Grimes is accused of taking lewd photos of Ponca City High School students during class. Ponca City Public Schools released the following statement today. 

“On March 30 PCPS was made aware of the arrest of a teacher at Ponca City Senior High School. As always, the safety of our students and staff is a top priority. The PCPS District works to ensure state law and board policies are followed, and if violations are found, they are quickly addressed. Allegations were reported to PCPS officials on Nov. 21, 2019, and these allegations were immediately reported to Ponca City Police. The teacher was instantaneously placed on administrative leave and has been on administrative leave since. PCPS has fully cooperated with the law enforcement on this matter. Because this is an ongoing investigation and due to confidentiality rights, PCPS cannot make further comment. This teacher has been employed by the District since Aug. 1, 1989.” 

Michael Clinton Grimes

Police report in the affidavit that they interviewed the teens photographed.

A 17-year-old reportedly told police that Grimes was photographing a 17-year-old from behind and the buttocks of a 16-year-old during a lab experiment held in the gym.

The 17-year-old that was allegedly photographed told police that she was shaken up when she learned Grimes may have photographed her and that she sat down. She reportedly told Sgt. Josh Henderson that after she sat down she saw Grimes walking around with his cellphone out and that she could tell the phone was in camera mode.

A 16-year-old told police that on Nov. 8, 2019, she was told by classmates that Grimes photographed her while she was bent over. The student said on Nov. 21, 2019, the class was back in the gym and she noticed he was holding his phone in a “sketchy way” by his thigh. The teen told police that Grimes says things to high school students that he shouldn’t.

Another 17-year-old reportedly told police that Grimes took photos of the class as they were sitting down during the lab experiment on Nov. 21, 2019 and that she saw Grimes holding his phone in camera mode pointed at another student’s buttocks.

Police also reportedly interviewed an 18-year-old female student. Photos of the 18-year-old was reportedly found on Grimes’ phone. The teen confirmed that she is the one in the photograph and that Grimes did not have permission to photograph her.

PCPD Cpl. Eric Welch reports that he interviewed Grimes after the allegations were raised and he stated the following:

Grimes did not give police consent to look at his phone.

A search warrant for the phone was issued by Judge David Wilkie. Police took the phone to Stillwater police where Stillwater Det. Share Lejuene retrieved the contents. Police report there were 257 photos and or attempted photos of  students on the phone that appeared to have been taken at the high school. Henderson reports the photos were exclusively of females, focused on the lower torso.

Grimes is free on $5,000 bond. Because the courthouse is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 crisis, Grimes’ initial appearance is delayed until June 5.