Troubling E-Mails In TPS Molestation Case

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Updated: 5/13/2010 4:11 pm Published: 5/12/2010 11:07 pm

There are revealing details in the case of Skelly Elementary Assistant Principal Robert Yerton who is accused of four counts of child sex crimes. 

Court records indicate another potential victim but detectives say they’re still digging up information and will not release any details about the accusations and information about the potential victim.

FOX23 has also obtained scathing e-mails exchanged between the Tulsa Public Schools administration and the Skelly Elementary principal and staff.

FOX23’s Abbie Alford explains the troubling documents listed in the search warrant for items at the Tulsa Public Schools Education Service Center.

The search warrant states Tulsa Police Child Crisis detectives are looking for documents and e-mails referring to the counselor who blew the whistle. It also states that counselor was given a written warning after TPD launched an investigation of Yerton.

Police are also searching for an e-mail between Skelly Elementary Principal Katy Ackley and Yerton.

The affidavit also states the most troubling e-mail between TPS Attorney Doug Mann to Elementary Superintendent Millard House and Ackley.

Evidence in the case against Yerton accused of molesting a six-year-old boy who has a learning disability on October 21st, 2009 at Skelly and molesting an eight-year-old boy in November, 2009 at Skelly but police say is not a Skelly student is damning.

In an e-mail dated October 26th, 2009, five days after the six-year-old was allegedly touched by Yerton, Ackley e-mailed Yerton, 

 “...something is on my mind I need to let you know about...but rather than blindside you... I think maybe it's the best to let you know the situation so you are prepared tomorrow...[The counselor] came to me this afternoon and expressed some concerns. Apparently she is troubled by some physical contact you had with two boys in her office... She felt it was inappropriate. She also told me that 'some other teacher' had mentioned concerns as well. I didn't ask names. I was really shocked and told her that I hadn't seen anything that concerned me. But I told her I would talk to you ...I thought you would want to know asap. Katy."  

The affidavit doesn’t state what happened until April 19th, 2010, three days after the six-year-old boy’s parents filed a complaint with TPD, saying the Skelly counselor told them she witnessed Yerton touch their son’s private parts. 

At that point the Skelly principal gave the counselor a written warning. 

On April 21st, the counselor received the warning and submitted a written rebuttal on April 29th. 

In the affidavit it states on May 6th, one day after Yerton was charged with Lewd Molestation and two counts of Child Sex Abuse, TPS attorney Doug Mann e-mailed Ackley and Elementary School Superintendent Millard House, 

"I would like for you both to sit down together and spend as long as it takes to go through [the counselor's] rebuttal, literally line-by-line and word-by-word and you create a rebuttal to every bit of it. Your rebuttal should be as detailed as necessary to get across the point that she is a big liar."  

Yerton is charged with two counts of Lewd Molestation and two counts of Child Sex Abuse involving an underage boy in his home.

These are just a few of the documents detailed in the affidavit. The search warrant states police are searching for the counselor’s rebuttal in reference to her written warning by Skelly Principal Katy Ackley, copies of saved e-mails between Ackley, Elementary School Superintendent Millard House, notes, emails or reports saved by House in reference to TPS’ investigation of Yerton, and documents in reference to a February 2010 meeting with House, Ackley, the counselor and Yerton. 

The affidavit also states that it searched for Yerton’s personnel file, Yerton’s e-mails dated after October 21st, 2009, and e-mails exchanges between House and Skelly staff members dated after October 21, 2009. 

The detective also states in the search warrant that parents from Skelly and Lindbergh, Yerton was the intern principal from 2008 to 2009, voiced their concerns to school administration about Yertons actions with young boys.

The detective also mentions that she has received information that Yerton’s termination was in reference to sexual material. TPS has not released if Yerton has been fired but says they have started the termination process.  

TPD stated in the affidavit it did receive an eleven page document from TPS Police Chief Gary Rudick that contains the rebuttals, “the remaining items could not be produced at the time but will be forthcoming at a later date.” 

TPS has not responded to this search warrant filed on Thursday.

TPS has previously said that it is doing an internal investigation and does not know if there will be policy changes because of the investigation. 

Anyone, including school employees, are required by Oklahoma law to report any suspected child abuse. If convicted it would be a misdemeanor charge.

The Tulsa County District Attorney and TPD Child Crisis detectives say it is moot right now to consider criminal charges against the district. The Assistant DA Jake Cain says right now they are concerned and working with alleged victims and potential victims in the Yerton case.  

Yerton is charged with two counts of Lewd Molestation and two counts of Child Sex Abuse involving an underage boy in his home. Wednesday he was arraigned and entered a plea of not guilty. Yerton's preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 19th.

If you have any information about the Yerton investigation call the Tulsa Police Child Crisis Unit at (918) 669-6504. You can remain anonymous.  

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

Jolie - 5/13/2010 9:54 AM
1 Vote
As soon as all alleged and potential victims are interviewed and their claims are investigated thoroughly, I do hope that the TPD will take a strong stand on this issue and press charges against TPS administrators who willfully protected their fellow employee and their own reputations at the cost of vulnerable children and the one person who went outside of the TPS system to alert the parents/community what was happening with relation to Yerton Jr. Principal Ackley should be ashamed of herself for behaving so unprofessionally and unethically in this situation. Both she and Millard House deserve criminal charges filed against them for what they've done, imo.

MamaTrav - 5/13/2010 7:34 AM
0 Votes
Seriously, it makes me sick to my stomach!!! How dare our school district do everything in their power to prove the one and only person willing to stand up for our kids a "big liar"!!! How dare you stand up for that lying, despicable man and not for our kids TPS. You screwed up big time and now are trying to cover your own butt, but in the mean time you've lost the confidence of all the parents. Good job! So now what, cause we certainly are having a hard time trusting you with our children???
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