SHAWNEE — Former McLoud elementary teacher Kimberly Crain sobbed Wednesday as she pleaded no contest to dozens of sex crimes against her former students and other girls.
At the same time, one victim’s mother laughed gleefully in the back of the courtroom.
Crain, who sat huddled and alone before standing before the judge, had good reason to break down.
Moments before, co-defendant Gary Doby, a former Oklahoma Baptist University professor, was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the case. Doby, who has been known to use the name “Uncle G,” pleaded guilty to 20 sex crimes.
Crain, a former third-grade teacher, is scheduled to be sentenced March 22.
Pottawatomie County District Judge John Canavan offered Crain little hope after she entered a blind plea — meaning the sentence will be left entirely up to the judge.
“The least I can sentence you to is 25 years,” Canavan told Crain.
Doby, 66, will have to serve at least 38 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole. His punishment was the result of a deal with prosecutors.
“He’ll be something like 104 when he comes up for parole,” Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon said after the pleas were entered Wednesday morning. “I don’t think he’s going to make it.”
‘Definition of a pedophile’
Doby, who the prosecutor described as the “definition of a pedophile,” also asked to be admitted to a sexual predator treatment program.
“Mr. Doby, you’re going to have a lot of time to sit there and think about what you’ve done to these victims, and I hope you do that,” Canavan said.
“I will,” Doby responded.
Parents of some of the young girls — most of them former students of Crain at McLoud Elementary School — attended the plea hearing Wednesday, some sitting for hours before the defendants stood in front of the judge just before noon.
One mother, who laughed out loud when it was announced Doby would serve a life sentence, lashed out at the defendants as court broke for lunch.
“I hope you rot in hell,” the woman said to Doby as he sat in the courtroom. The mother was not told to stop by any court personnel in the building’s largest courthouse.
Doby, who was called other names by the angry mother, seemed to nod his head in agreement during the exchange.
“It felt good,” the mother said. “I think they deserve everything they’re going to get.”
Crain, 49, rocked from side to side as she stood before Canavan. As she pleaded no contest to each of the dozens of counts against her, her sobs grew more audible.
As she cried, some parents laughed.
“I’m just glad they’re getting what they deserve,” a father of one of the victims said afterward. “I just want this thing over.”
After Canavan set her sentencing, Crain asked if she might be released to home confinement with electronic monitoring.
Noting she faced a long minimum sentence, Canavan said, “I’m not going to do that.”
Crain’s husband was not in court. Her mother was, Smothermon said.
While waiting for his case to be called, a gray-haired and bespectacled Doby sat with other inmates along a side wall in the seat farthest from courtroom spectators.
Clad in an orange jump suit, his hands and legs shackled, he passively followed the other proceedings, chatted with his lawyer and occasionally glanced toward the gallery, where several parents and family members of the victims sat stone-faced.
Crain wasn’t in the courtroom initially but entered after a midmorning break. Also dressed in an orange jumpsuit, she sat in a wooden chair, her back to spectators, shoulders slumped, head bowed.
She never turned toward the spectators or looked at Doby, who sat just a few feet away.
Case shocked town
Prosecutors say Crain and Doby exploited more than 10 young girls using Skype, a tool that allows people to communicate online.
Doby, who met Crain while she was a student at OBU, was living in Pennsylvania at the time of the crimes.
Many of the young girls testified against the defendants during a preliminary hearing in May, detailing for a judge how Crain would isolate them off school grounds and force them into compromising positions.
One of the girls testified May 21 that Crain took a group of five girls to her Shawnee home in November 2011, shortly before the defendants were charged.
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.
Doby, who was known to the girls as “Uncle G,” would communicate with them by using Skype.
One of the girls, now 10, testified Doby 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, including 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.”
An FBI agent who testified during the defendants’ preliminary hearing said Doby admitted to Crain during a Skype conversation that he showed one of the young girls his penis while he conversed with her during school hours.
Prosecutors say Crain also secretly videotaped and photographed the young girls while they changed clothes in May 2011.
Crain pleaded no contest to 18 counts of sexual exploitation of a child younger than 12 and 10 counts of possession of child pornography. She also pleaded no contest to one count of lewd acts with a child and one count of conspiracy to sexually exploit a child younger than 12.
Doby pleaded guilty to 18 counts of sexual exploitation of a child younger than 12, one count of lewd molestation and one count of conspiracy to sexually exploit a child younger than 12.