Ex-teacher delays guilty plea

Hunter Day wasn’t prepared to go behind bars, attorney says

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Hunter Day sits in her classroom when she worked as a YHS teacher. (File photo)

By Tim Farley
News Editor

EL RENO – A former Yukon teacher’s scheduled guilty plea was postponed until May 22 because the woman was not ready to go behind bars, her defense attorney told a judge Tuesday morning.

Hunter Joanne Day faces a second-degree rape charge in a case brought by Canadian County prosecutors after allegations were made that she had a sexual encounter with one of her teenage students. The boy, then 15, told police the pair had sex one time and were supposed to have another sexual encounter the day she was arrested by Canadian County deputies.

Day was supposed to enter a blind plea Tuesday morning before Canadian County District Judge Paul Hesse, but decided against doing that when she learned she would immediately be taken into custody. Day’s attorney requested the case be continued until next month. A blind plea requires the judge to set the punishment instead of prosecutors and defense attorneys agreeing on a sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Erica Simpson argued before the judge, “It’s not fair to the family and it’s not fair to the state.” Simpson told Hesse prosecutors were ready to proceed with the blind plea.

However, Day’s attorney said the defendant was not prepared to be taken into custody.
Hesse acknowledged he could not force Day to enter a guilty plea and said he had no choice but to delay the case another month.

The judge set a bench trial for May 22, and also scheduled a status conference with attorneys on May 21.

Jennifer Hays, mother of the alleged rape victim, told reporters after the hearing she was “sad and disappointed” the case was continued. She declined further comment. Day’s defense attorney declined to speak about the judge’s decision.

In addition to the rape charge, Day also was charged by prosecutors with soliciting sexual conduct or communication with a minor by use of technology.

Day’s husband, Tyler Day, accompanied her to Tuesday’s hearing. Tyler Day had been a teacher and football coach at Yukon High School before his wife was charged with the two felonies. He reportedly resigned his positions at the school after the scandal was made public. The couple moved away from Yukon after Hunter Day was charged.

THE AFFAIR

Day was arrested in November 2017 after the boy’s parents informed Canadian County Sheriff investigators that their son had been texting his science teacher.

Day and the teenager exchanged nude photographs and scandalous texts that expressed their desire to have sexual relations. The boy’s parents took their son’s cell phone to county investigators and asked for a forensic review of the phone. Investigators learned Day had arranged to meet the student at her home for sex on the day she was arrested.

Investigators used the opportunity to catch Day soliciting sex and began texting her using the teen’s cell phone and posing as the teenager.

Investigators asked if the meeting was still on. Day replied “yes,” and indicated the teenager should hurry up and get there before her husband got home from work, according to a report prepared by the sheriff’s office.

Once at the residence, investigators sent a text message to Day from the boy’s cell phone, and wrote “I’m here.” Day responded, “The doors unlocked as usual.”  Investigators opened the door and found Day sitting on the living floor with the lights turned off, candles lit, and wearing a T-shirt and workout shorts.

Investigators identified themselves, and told Day why they were there. Day cooperated, and admitted to having a sexual relationship with the boy. She also admitted to sending bra and panty photographs, and that she had received photos of the boy’s genitalia.