Yerton found guilty on 3 counts in child molestation case


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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.

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

4justice - 9/5/2012 4:43 PM
0 Votes
Now would be a good time for Mr. Yerton's wife, to make an honest and heart felt attempt to reconcile with her son, whom her husband molested. She cannot recover her husband now. He will be prison for quite awhile. She tossed her son aside for the love of a self desturtive narcisists and allowed him to continue in a self destructive behavior that destroyed her family. Her son deserved better, a lot better than he got. She should put alot of distance between herself and her husband now, and show her son how really sorry she is for not believing in him. If her husband loves her like he says he does (very doubtful), and if he loves kids like he says he does (too much), then he should have no problem with her doing this, and if fact, should be insisting upon it. It's time to heal these very deep wounds and close the distance between a mother and a son. They both need each other very badly right now. I pray that niether one will have hardened their hearts in such a way, to make this impossible.

4justice - 9/4/2012 11:37 AM
0 Votes
His victims, the jury of 12 of his peers, have spoken. It does no good to deny what is apparent to others. How did he and the school system explain away the homo sexual porn on his computer at home and at school? He said he was been recovery programs before. They why is the junk still on his computer, especially at school???? Doesn't the school system have sophistacated software screening programs to prevent this? And if he has been in rehab/recovery,where is his accountability partner in all of this mess? Let me guess--It's his wife, right? She has been inabled him all this time instead of holding him accountable. She even walked away from her own son (previsous marriage), choosing to believe her now husband, Mr. Yerton, over what her son was telling her all these years. Now she has no husband, wothless as he was, and no son. This boy, even went so far as to file a Restraining Order on his Step Dad to keep him away. I know there still are many that believe in his innocence, but there are just far too many coincidents to be ignored here. Why are so many still trying ot enable him with all this forgiveness hpye without holding him accountable for his actions?? I don't wish him ill will, but finally someone(the State) is holding him accoutable in a very severe way. That is truly sad and regrettable for all involved.. This has been a colossal failure on the part of many.

marisu - 8/31/2012 3:08 PM
0 Votes
i don't understand how something like this can happen for so long and to so many kids without being found out. i agree with dukshanee. i hope he gets molested TO DEATH. he definately deserves it. what makes it even worse is that he was in our school system.

dukshanee - 8/31/2012 2:28 PM
0 Votes
i hope HE gets MOLESTED in prison a 1000 times before he dies in there!!! or have a public stoning then hanging to show all this others future molesters we not f***ing around, someone needs to be made an example of!!

aleman - 8/31/2012 11:46 AM
0 Votes
some weak kneed liberal maggot judge will give him probation or a very light sentence you watch

army mom - 8/31/2012 10:05 AM
0 Votes
YAY! Another child molester off the streets and out of the school system. I'm just grateful he wasn't tried in Florida.

milesdavis42 - 8/31/2012 4:54 AM
0 Votes
GOOD! This piece of waste deserves to feel like he is dying the rest of his life. FORGET killing OR hurting him- he did this all to himself. CASE CLOSED.

aleman - 8/29/2012 5:59 PM
0 Votes
Child molestion is the same as murder,this pud murders souls and should be treated accordingly,bet he ends up costing the taxpayer millions,if the jury convicts drag his sorry butt to the gallows then let the buzzards have what's left.Years of excessive self abuse and perversion show on his face.What the hell good is he for anyway?

watchdog11 - 8/29/2012 3:58 PM
0 Votes
shoot the sick ba***rd in he head, he doesn't deserve to live so he can do it again. He can't be reformed, just kill him now, he knew what he was doing and knew it was wrong but chose to do it....get rid of him or the next time he does it the DA and judge on his case will be to blame, hope they get sued when he molests again if they let him out to do it again.

whatintheworld - 8/29/2012 2:24 PM
0 Votes
blech.....makes me sick.
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