SHAWNEE — After listening to several school-age girls recall posing for photographs and videos prosecutors described as lewd and inappropriate, a Pottawatomie County judge ordered a former McLoud elementary schoolteacher and a 66-year-old man to stand trial on child pornography charges.
The girls testified Monday morning during a preliminary hearing for Kimberly Crain, 49, and Gary Doby, 66, who have been in the Pottawatomie County jail since the end of last year.
One of the girls testified that Crain, a former third-grade teacher at McLoud Elementary School, took a group of five girls to the teacher's Shawnee home a few weeks before last Christmas. The girl said Crain told them to change into bras and panties, at which point they were photographed while decorating a Christmas tree.
“We bended down with our butts to the camera,” the girl said. “We would put our hands on our hips ... and pucker our lips.”
The same girl described telling her parents what had happened once she got home that night, particularly her mother's reaction.
“She went in the bathroom and cried,” the girl said.
The girl, and many of the others who testified, said Crain urged them not to tell their parents and made the girls hide when a pizza delivery driver brought food to the teacher's home.
According to testimony, Doby, who was known to the girls as “Uncle G,” would communicate with girls by using Skype, which allows users to converse online.
One of the girls, who is now 10, testified that Doby, a former Oklahoma Baptist University professor, would make requests of Crain's female students. The girls testified that he knew each of them by name.
“One time he made me stick the camera in my mouth,” the girl said.
The same girl said that Crain would ask her to do sexually suggestive dance moves, one called the “Happy Hobo Dance,” and described an instance when the former teacher gave her some direction before a photo session.
“She told me to stick my butt out, so I did,” the girl said.
“And she took a picture.”
Another girl, who is now 9, described how Crain isolated the girls toward the end of the previous school year, some time in May 2011.
“She emailed my mom and asked her if I could help her clean out the classroom,” the girl said.
The girl said Crain then drove a group of girls to her home and told them to wash her truck.
She later took the girls' wet clothes and put them in a dryer, telling the girls to put on matching white tank tops and panties.
“They were already in the room,” the girl said.
Later on, the girls — now with freshly painted toenails, toe rings and ankle bracelets — were photographed while they played with Barbie dolls.
Prosecutors said Crain also secretly took photos of the girls as they changed, and all of the girls who testified Monday said they weren't photographed while they changed.
Crain twice took a group of girls off school grounds to photograph and film them — both times to her Shawnee home, prosecutors say. One of the trips was just before last Christmas, the other about a year ago.
Prosecutors also introduced dozens of photos of underage girls during the hearing.
The photos had been examined by Andrew Farabow, an agent with the FBI, during the criminal investigation into Crain and Doby.
“They are all images of child pornography,” Farabow said.
Farabow said additional images of “older teenage girls” were found on computers, cellphones and other digital storage devices belonging to Crain, but those images weren't included in the criminal complaints against the defendants. He said the suspects also sent photos of their sexual organs to each other during the period of time under investigation.
The agent later read from a Skype “chat” log found on Crain's computer. During the chat, Doby indicates that he showed one of the girls his penis while she conversed with him during school hours, Farabow said.
Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon said he has no evidence that any of the girls were actually touched by Crain but described the alleged crimes committed by the defendants as “horrific” nonetheless.
“The crimes that these two individuals perpetrated on 8-, 9-, 10-year-old girls are just horrific,” he said. “She made it very friendly for them on purpose.”
Smothermon said he was “very proud” of the girls who testified Monday.
“It was very difficult for them to come in and sit in front of someone that they trusted and who broke that trust and talk about the things that happened to them with her sitting 8 feet away,” the prosecutor said.
Smothermon said it isn't clear at this point whether any of the photos in question have been distributed beyond Crain and Doby.
“Once those pictures were sent to Mr. Doby, we have no idea where they went,” he said.
Crain and Doby face charges that include sexual exploitation of a child younger than 12, possession of juvenile pornography and lewd molestation.
The defendants are due to be arraigned June 27 in district court.
If convicted, they could face more than 20 years in jail and fines.
Parents have sued
Many of the girls' parents attended the hearing Monday, which resulted in extra security, Smothermon said.
Many of the parents were upset with the school district when they found out how Crain was able to isolate their children off school grounds.
In March, the parents of 10 of the girls filed a lawsuit against the small, rural school district, seeking unspecified damages for the alleged abuse their children endured.
The lawsuit claims the district is responsible for the alleged crimes — in part — because much of the abuse occurred on school grounds, using equipment owned by the elementary school.