TULSA, Okla. — A federal judge says a former Miami schoolteacher accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl poses “a serious danger” to her and denied him bond after a federal detention hearing.
The officials charges against Ronald Dale Sanders, of Belton, Mo, are, traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, sexual abuse of a minor in Indian Country, abusive sexual contact with a minor in Indian Country and tampering with evidence by corrupt persuasion.
Court records show that his jury trial is set for Jan. 8, 2024, in Tulsa.
The former schoolteacher was arrested by Ottawa County deputies on Oct. 14 after the teen’s father discovered the 54-year-old man outside his home with his daughter around midnight. The teen’s father, Ottawa County deputies and Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers pursued Sanders who fled from Welch into Ottawa County where he was stopped by authorities.
He was charged in Ottawa County District Court with driving with a suspended license and transporting an open container of liquor.
According to authorities, Sanders’s cell phone allegedly held pornographic photos of the juvenile and the teen confirmed several sexual encounters.
Oklahoma law states a 14-year-old can not consent to a sexual relationship.
As a condition of bail, Sanders was not under a no-contact order, but “contacted the minor victim through her minor friends’ social media,” and “there was no legitimate reason for the attempted contact,” according to a federal Order, signed by Magistrate Judge Susan E. Huntsman on Nov. 15.
During Wednesday’s federal detention hearing, Magistrate Huntsman ordered Sanders to be held in federal custody citing several reasons for the detainment – the chief reason being the teen’s safety.
Federal prosecutors received reports that there may be “other potential victims but was unable to present any evidence that [Sanders] has ever engaged in” similar conduct, according to court records.
An investigation into Sanders’s background by KSN/KODE shows he taught at 12 schools in Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, and New Mexico since 2000.
Other than a driving under the influence charge in Missouri, a search of Sander’s background has not produced any other charges, including any sexual abuse-related charges, the Order states.
The Order also cites one of the reasons for denying bond, “…given what has happened in this case and without a trustworthy third party who could provide support and additional supervision over [Sanders].”
The “Court does not find that alcohol-abuse treatment, alone, will mitigate the risk [Sanders poses],” according to the Order. Sanders also lacked “strong ties to any community or strong family support,” the Order states.
Another strike against Sanders was no current employment and he “has a history of unspecified mental health issues for which he is prescribed medication, and he suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2009,” court documents show.
The Order continues, “–at this time–the Government has shown clear and convincing evidence that there are no conditions that would reasonably assure the safety of others.”
Sanders is interested in alcohol treatment, the Order states.