Additional Molestation Charge Against Skelly Employee


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Updated: 5/11/2010 5:07 pm Published: 5/10/2010 7:42 pm


A Skelly Elementary administrator at the center of a child sex abuse investigation is facing additional charges.

Tulsa Police tell FOX23 News they believe Robert Yerton inappropriately touched a male student this school year at Skelly Elementary.

Records show Yerton, “had ‘groped’, touched an 8-year-old boy on his penis with his hand, over his cloethes in a ‘cupping’ motion.”

This is the third alleged victim involved in the investigation.

Jail records show Yerton is charged with two counts of child sex abuse and two counts of lewd molestation involving children.

Reports show Yerton inappropriately touched a 6-year-old boy at Skelly Elementary in his office and sexually abused a boy from when he was 11-years-old to 17-years old in his home.

There was former student who came forward and told police while at Disney Elementary in 1996 Yerton molested him in his classroom.

Police investigated and say that suspected abuse exceeded the statute of limitations so no charges can be filed.

FOX23 was the first to report the allegations when it surfaced last month.

FOX23’s Abbie Alford exclusively speaks to the former student.

A man who has been embarrassed and ashamed has stayed silent about what he says his fourth grade teacher did to him fourteen years ago.

Although his case has exceeded the statute of limitations, the former student hopes by breaking his silence it will help others to seek justice.

Behind the yearbook pictures at Disney Elementary, smiling for the camera’s, Robert Yerton’s former fourth grade student see’s a different man.

"I am just disgusted…a demon,” says the former student. "He took advantage of a little boy."

A little boy who is now a husband and father so to protect his identity he wants to be known as “Shane”.

The former student says he’s kept a disturbing secret about Yerton since 1996.

"Because I have Dyslexia he told me I needed to come back and work on my spelling words," says “Shane”.  

He says he was alone with Yerton in the classroom.

"I was standing out on the front of his desk and he told me I needed to come to the back side of his desk and we were just talking about what I needed to do and he just kind of stopped and turned…he put his hand down my shorts and he just stopped and kept talking about the spelling words,” says “Shane”.

He says he didn’t tell Yerton to stop.

"I think he could tell I was uncomfortable," says “Shane”.

“Shane” says  Yerton acted like nothing ever happened. For fourteen years “Shane” says it was too painful to breath a word that he believed Mr. Yerton touched him inappropriately.

"People making fun of you or blaming it on you," says “Shane”.

It was his word against a teacher.

"I was only in the fourth grade and you're supposed to be able to trust the people that you are at school with and that's why they are there to be trusted,” says “Shane”.

As the years went by he says he tried to forget about what happened but it got even tougher to stay silent about a man who was well respected in the schools and in the church community.

"I was scared of what would happen....and ashamed that I never said anything," says “Shane”.

Until another boy’s family came forward and told police that a staff member told them their six-year-old son was inappropriately touched by his assistant principal at Skelly Elementary, Robert Yerton.

“Shane” says he couldn’t keep his secret anymore.

"It just surfaced and I felt that I should stop hiding behind my fears," says “Shane”. "Someone else was brave enough to come forward so why cant I?"

So the former student says he reported it to police.

"I thought it was time and I kept seeing his picture and it just brought anger and I felt it was time to get justice for what happened to me," says “Shane”.

Yerton cannot face time for what police believe he did to “Shane” because the suspected abused exceeded the statute of limitations for any charges to be filed.

Still Shane says justice will come if others break their silence.

"Stop being scared and say something so this man will go away so he can't do it to anyone else," says “Shane”. "Please come forward and get it off your chest because it will help you".

If you believe or you know who someone who Robert Yerton may have abused report it to the Tulsa Police Child Crisis Unit at (918) 669-6504. You can remain anonymous.

The Tulsa County District Attorney's office says it doesn’t matter how long ago the suspected abuse happened it may be able to help the case.

Yerton is on paid suspension but Tulsa Public Schools says it is beginning its termination proceedings. Yerton has been with the school district since 1993.

Reports also show the TPS area superintendent handed over a packet of e-mails to police with their concerns about Yerton’s suspected abuse.

Yerton is now being held on $200,000 bond. A bond reduction hearing has been set for Tuesday.  


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

esposadenacho - 5/11/2010 2:11 PM
0 Votes
Oh I know they are not public records and that reeks. Would the court be able to use any criminal activity this guy had as a youth that could be seen as a pre-indicator to what he is charged with now? Is there any kind of law that places a ban across potential childcare or educational staff if they have ever been found guilty of lewd misconduct as a youth?

AAlford - 5/11/2010 1:17 PM
0 Votes
Thank you for all of your comments. This is Abbie Alford with FOX23 who reported this story. Juvenile records are not public records so not even media have access to those records, only that information would be available in court and court records (if they are mentioned). Thank you again for your comments and I will keep them in mind for future stories as this story and other stories develop.

esposadenacho - 5/11/2010 12:08 AM
0 Votes
The education system should start doing their homework before hiring monsters like this. And evaluations should be conducted on every staff member at every school quarterly. Does this guy have a past record, even juvenile? I'm not sure about how to obtain juvenile records but it would make sense in an investigation like this that they would become evidence. Sometimes monsters that do these types of things have problems in their youth related to abuse, usually sexual-related. And nobody with problems like that should ever be employed in the educational field.

MamaTrav - 5/10/2010 10:52 PM
0 Votes
MsBlack, I agree completely. As a Skelly parent I'm appauled at how the Principal, area superintendent and TPS has handled this situation. As a Skelly parent I have yet to see any additional information from the school or TPS on how they're handling this with our kids, any suggestions on how we could/should handle this with our kids, actually we have received absolutely no information from them helpful or otherwise. The only thing we've received from the school is the poor excuse of a letter from the principal the day after the search warrant. I personally witnessed a very young student stand and ask one of the teachers repeatedly where Mr. Yerton was. The teacher could NOT answer because they're not allowed to talk about it. I told the young student to ask their mom about it. They've put their employees in awkward situations as well as the parents. So I agree 100% that the principal and up in the TPS should be held accountable in this!!!

MamaTrav - 5/10/2010 10:52 PM
0 Votes
MsBlack, I agree completely. As a Skelly parent I'm appauled at how the Principal, area superintendent and TPS has handled this situation. As a Skelly parent I have yet to see any additional information from the school or TPS on how they're handling this with our kids, any suggestions on how we could/should handle this with our kids, actually we have received absolutely no information from them helpful or otherwise. The only thing we've received from the school is the poor excuse of a letter from the principal the day after the search warrant. I personally witnessed a very young student stand and ask one of the teachers repeatedly where Mr. Yerton was. The teacher could NOT answer because they're not allowed to talk about it. I told the young student to ask their mom about it. They've put their employees in awkward situations as well as the parents. So I agree 100% that the principal and up in the TPS should be held accountable in this!!!

MsBlack - 5/10/2010 9:32 PM
1 Vote
Not only should the families of his victims go after Yerton, but they should also go after TPS. It is apparent in more than one way the Tulsa Public School system has become complacent in their hiring and staff disciplinary actions. It is an unfortunate incident when the only time a parent becomes aware of any disciplinary action against a TPS employee is when the incident is news-worthy. Any other time that complaints are filed against TPS staff the parent is given no information regarding any actions taken against the employee. They are simply told that the situation was handled. This manner of handling complaints is unacceptable. When a complaint is made the parent should receive documentation stating the nature of the disciplinary action and acknowledgement of the complaint. Ofcourse the Department of Education does not want to be forced to provide documentation because if they are found later to be wrong, then they as well will be held accountable for their own failure. It is much easier for them to perform haphazard in-house investigations, with no more than a slap on the wrist or firm talk to the staff member, then to be held accountable to the parents and public for their inaction.

ruben9 - 5/10/2010 8:49 PM
0 Votes
Police say they cannot file charges because the suspected abuse has exceeded the statute of limitations. Thats sad thats why this guy is still out their since 1993. But i bet if any of those kids that were molested were the judges son or just some one important he would be locked up right away. This system is just wrong. They go out their talking about Mexico's corruption being the worst, but yet at Mexico if anything like this happens, they take care of him really good at jail or out of jail, they make sure he learns his lesson. So for anybody out there that really cares please do something about it and lock this sex predator before he keeps on doing more damage to innocent little angels.

esposadenacho - 5/10/2010 8:28 PM
0 Votes
If this guy did what is claimed he did then people don't want to know what I think needs to be done to him in return. Castration by a rusty, jagged, burning knife only begins what I would do to him if allowed!!
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