|Updated: 8/31/2012 12:55 pm
||Published: 8/29/2012 1:29 pm
UPDATE: The jury in the case of former elementary assistant principal Robert Yerton, accused of molesting students, has found him guilty on three of the five counts against him.
FOX23's Abbie Alford was at the courthouse all night, and says even before the verdict was read, EMSA was called for Yerton, who according to his lawyer, had started to lose consciousness.
Immediately after the verdict was read Yerton was transported to the hospital. He is in custody and will be taken to the Tulsa County Jail when he is released from the hospital.
The jury deliberated for more than twelve hours, beginning at 2pm Thursday following closing arguments, asking for dinner to be delivered.
Here's a breakdown of the verdict:
Count 1- Lewd molestation of a 6-year-old - not guilty
Count 2- Child sex abuse (of a relative) - guilty, jury recommends 12 years in prison
Count 3- Child sex abuse (of a relative) - guilty, jury recommends 12 years in prison
Count 4- Lewd molestation (of an 8-year-old at Skelly elementary) - guilty, jury recommends 3 years in prison
Count 5- Lewd molestation (of a 7-year-old boy at Disney Elementary in 2001) - not guilty.
When the judge read the first verdict of not guilty, his family made a sigh of relief. There were no outbursts as the guilty verdicts were read involving Yerton's relative.
That alleged victim and his family were in the courtoom as the verdicts were read.
In all the jury recommended 27 years in prison, but it's up to the judge to make the final decision, and to decide whether the sentences should run consecutively or concurrently. His formal sentencing is set for October 11th at 9:00am.
An important point about count 1 to note, is it was those accusations that Yerton molested a 6-year-old, that started the whole case against him, and prompted other victims to come forward. Yerton was found not guilty on count 1.
Yerton is the former assistant principal at Skelly Elementary and resigned shortly after the 2010 investigation.
During closing arguments in a packed courtroom, Yerton's defense attorney Richard O'Carroll said the alleged victims made up the accusations for monetary gain, but prosecutors said Yerton knew exactly what he was doing, specifically choosing vulnerable victims.
He’s accused of molesting two male students at Skelly Elementary and another at Disney Elementary where he was a teacher in 2001.
On Wednesday, Yerton testified in his own defense and denied molesting any child. On the stand Yerton looked confident, calculated but not confrontational with prosecutors.
"This is his lawsuit and his life. I think he presented his circumstances well and I think he is very brave,” said defense attorney Richard O’Carroll. "She [Assistant District Attorney Sarah McAmis] threw the kitchen sink at him over my objection she got everything in the world. No person should have to answer to those kinds of accusations and I thought that he was polite and respectful and correct in his answers," said O’Carroll.
In his short testimony, Yerton told the jury, “I have never looked at [relative] that would be perceived as sexual in any nature," said Yerton.
He also denied touching or looking at any child in a sexual manner.
In the last week jurors heard from alleged victims and their parents. The whistleblower also testified and so did school administrators. Prosecutors said actions were not taken when the whistleblower came forward in October 2009.
In 2010, TPS told FOX23 News the concerns were not criminal in nature.
Records show Tulsa Police were not notified until April 2010.
The defense attorney said the alleged victims had their motives.
“What you don’t know and what these jurors won’t hear will make your jaws go slack and that’s a fact,” said O’Carroll.
In 2010, FOX23 News spoke to the parents of the six-year-old boy with a learning disability.
"He was touched inappropriate in his private area in front of her [whistleblower], said a parent in 2010.
Another alleged victim shared memories with FOX23 News that he buried for 14 years.
“He put his hand down my shorts and he just stopped and kept talking about the spelling words,” said the alleged victim in 2010.
Although the man’s allegations exceeded the statute of limitations, he took the stand during the trial. The man told FOX23 News after testifying he’s found closure.
Before Yerton and his family left the courtroom they stood in a circle, held hands and prayed.
The jury began deliberating on Thursday afternoon.
In June, the District settled two lawsuits filed by the parents of two students who claimed Yerton touched them inappropriately.