Substitute pleads guilty

Tim Hudson
Lacey Sponsler

PAWHUSKA — A 34-year-old former Pawhuska Schools substitute teacher pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an incident in which she exposed herself at a Pawhuska public school in January.

According to Osage County Court records, Lacey Dawn Sponsler had been scheduled to waive or plea to charges of indecent exposure on Monday but the case was dismissed and refiled as a felony count of assault with the intent to commit indecent exposure to which she pleaded guilty and received a two-year suspended sentence.

“It is a felony and she can never teach again, and can never be issued a certificate to teach,” Osage County First Assistant District Attorney Doug Merritt said. “She owned up to what she did, and we feel that it was a just result.”

Sponsler had been on a $5,000 bond after her high-profile arrest in January, in which she was accused of performing a cartwheel in front of Pawhuska High School students while wearing a dress with no underwear. According to authorities, one of the students recorded a video of the cartwheel on a cellphone. The video later went viral on social media after it was shown on several Tulsa television news stations.

She was taken into custody a few hours later and a felony charge of indecent exposure was later filed against her, and the school system removed her as a substitute teacher.

Police said during initial questioning that Sponsler denied exposing herself. When they informed her about the cell phone video, she told them she “did not remember performing a cartwheel,” the police added.

At the time of her arrest, she had multiple traffic tickets in Osage County, and had faced felony charges in 2007 and 2009 in Payne County. Sponsler was charged with public intoxication, possession of a controlled dangerous substance within 1,000 feet of a university and possession of drug paraphernalia in 2007. She pleaded guilty, and court records indicate she received a two-year deferred sentence on all counts, placed under the direction of the Department of Correction’s community sentencing unit, and ordered to pay court costs and fines. Sponsler was arrested for burglary in the second-degree in 2009. The charges were later dismissed.

While on bond for the indecent exposure, Sponsler was arrested on March 16 by Broken Arrow Police after she reportedly stole a woman’s purse at a bowling alley. Reports in that case indicate that items inside the stolen purse were worth $1,000, pushing the charge to grand larceny. She was arrested on the scene after being identified by witnesses.

She pleaded guilty to reduced charges of petty larceny in April.