OSU professor pleads no contest to stalking charges

Ashlynd Huffman/ Stillwater News Press Hugh Christian Crethar entered into a blind plea on two charges of stalking Wednesday afternoon.

A former Oklahoma State University counseling professor charged with two counts of stalking entered into a no contest plea Wednesday afternoon before Judge Michael Kulling.

Hugh Christian Crethar, 54, of Stillwater, was accused of relentlessly sending messages to multiple students.

Two separate students filed a misdemeanor charge of stalking in 2018 against the professor.

One of the victims appeared in court Wednesday, along with her friend, who witnessed the alleged interactions between the victim and Crethar.

The other victim was unable to be in court because she no longer resides in Oklahoma. She submitted a victim’s impact statement.

The state appeared by Assistant District Attorney Debra Vincent. The defendant appeared by his attorney, Luke Anthony.

Vincent called the friend of one of the victims to the stand to testify, who alleged she was in Crethar’s class and he was also her adviser. She and the victim met in class and later became friends and colleagues.

During court, she said Crethar showed high levels of manipulation and messaged her and the victim relentlessly through social media platforms.

Both women present testified they felt ramifications would occur in their professional life if they didn’t respond to Crethar.

Both women said they suffered mentally and physically due to the high amount of stress they felt regarding their professor and adviser.

The friend of the victim developed an ulcer and had to be hospitalized, she told the court.

The victim said she had to be put on anti-anxiety medications while she was still in Crethar’s class.

Both women expressed concern over Crethar’s background in counseling and alleged this is how he was able to manipulate them into thinking the messaging was “normal.”

Vincent expressed concerns over if Crethar was remorseful for the incidents, because he never admitted guilt.

Anthony had an opportunity to address the court. He assured the victims he wasn’t taking away the way they felt, but his client entered into a no contest plea for specific reasons.

He alleged his client didn't “willfully” and “maliciously” intend to cause harm to either victim.

Anthony told the court his client lost his career and has been unemployed since he resigned from OSU.

He told the court that Crethar thought he was friends with the victims.

Crethar was given a chance to make a statement to the court, and he chose to do so.

“I was honestly shocked,” he told the court.

After hearing everything the state and defense had, Judge Kulling said he would be taking sentencing under advisement at this time.

Crethar will appear for announcement Sept. 8, at 2:15 p.m.

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