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July 10, 2012

UPDATED: Sequoyah choir director arrested on rape, multiple sex charges

CLAREMORE — A Claremore Sequoyah teacher is being held without bond in Rogers County Jail following his arrest on multiple sex crimes against a minor.

Mark Thomas Buchanan, 34, was arrested Monday evening, after Rogers County Sheriff’s deputies were contacted by his wife, whom he had reportedly told of (sexual) relationship with a 14-year-old female victim, according to Deputy Jerry Smittle.
“Mrs. Buchanan told us that her husband had confessed to her about an inappropriate relationship with a student (a minor) after the girl had told him she might be pregnant,” Smittle said. 
Buchanan is listed as choir director at Sequoyah Middle School, according to the Sequoyah Public Schools website.
Although the victim’s identity is being withheld, it is “extremely probable to assume” that the victim is a student at Sequoyah, noting that some of the alleged (sex) crimes took place on school property, Smittle said.
When reached for comment about Buchanan’s arrest, Sequoyah Superintendent Terry Saul described the incident with Buchanan as an “extremely unfortunate experience.”
“We are in a business of sorts — education — that involves many, many people,” Saul said. “School districts are very similar to small cities in such a way that we experience both the successes and the failures, the victories and the shortcomings of its citizens. 
“Thankfully, we’ve had enormous amounts of success and very few failures (of people) here, but  this could clearly be looked upon as a failure,” he said. 
“In our district, we’ve got a very strong school family and we will continue to move forward and support each other through this very unfortunate experience.
“As difficult as this situation has been, we intend to learn what we can from it and set up parameters so that we never have to deal with these kind of failures again,” he said. “First and foremost, we are about instilling the love of learning in our students.”
Saul declined to comment upon whether or not Buchanan has been terminated, but noted the “matter of his employment would be dealt with accordingly.”
Buchanan was booked into Rogers County Jail on 18 sex crimes complaints, including four counts of first-degree rape, six counts of making lewd and indecent proposals to a child and eight counts of sodomy of a victim under the age of 16.

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