Former Yale teacher sentenced in sexting case

Joseph Palmer

A former teacher at Yale High School accused of having a relationship with a female student was sentenced Tuesday in Payne County District Court after pleading guilty to engaging in sexual communication with a minor by use of technology. Joseph Kolt Palmer, 29, had another charge of second degree rape dismissed.

The dismissed second degree rape charge was based on an Oklahoma law specific to students at least 16 but younger than 20 engaging in sexual intercourse with a school employee 18 or older.

Palmer was sentenced to seven years with all but 180 days suspended and given credit for time served. He will have to register as a Level 2 sex offender and be under DOC supervision and pay a $500 along with court fees and costs.

In his guilty plea, Palmer writes that he “knowingly transmitted, to a minor, communication of a sexual or prurient interest. I transmitted this sexual communication by means of an electronic device, to wit a cell phone. This took place in Payne County, Oklahoma. No photographs were exchanged.”

The rules of Palmer’s probation include but were not limited to: Not violating city, state of federal law; possession of alcohol or visiting a place where alcohol is exclusively sold or used; possession of narcotics except those prescribed; possession of a deadly weapon such as a firearm or destructive device or be in the company of a person with the same; report to the probation officer as required and not associate with criminals.

Palmer lived in the Texas at the time of his arrest and the State agreed to transfer his probation to Texas.