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Child rapist David Harold Earls may face trial after indictment

SONYA COLBERG Modified: September 3, 2009 at 7:59 am •  Published: September 3, 2009
McALESTER — A Pittsburg County grand jury returned a three-count indictment Wednesday against convicted child rapist David Harold Earls.

Jurors accused Earls, 65, of molesting a 5-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy between May 9 and July 20, 2008, in Pittsburg County. The indictment lists three counts of lewd and lascivious or indecent acts with a child under 16.

The children who jurors accuse him of molesting apparently are the rape victim and her brother, who told his grandmother Earls encouraged him to molest his sister.

"Oh, my God!” said Earls’ daughter, Denise Earls, when told about the indictment. After the initial case, Denise Earls publicly accused her father of raping her when she was 8 years old and said he deserved to serve more time. "My heart just goes out to those children.”

Earls was scheduled for release Sept. 24 from the Pittsburg County jail on the earlier child rape conviction.

"Earls will not be getting out of custody on Sept. 24. He may discharge his prior sentence but he will be held under bond pending trial on the new charges,” Attorney General Drew Edmondson said.

Earls pleaded no contest May 13 to raping a girl he was baby-sitting. He set off a firestorm when he plea bargained to one year in the county jail, with 19 years suspended.

"I think justice will be served when these new allegations are tried and Mr. Earls receives a sentence commensurate with the heinous nature of his acts,” Edmondson said.

District Attorney J.B. Miller and District Judge Thomas Bartheld were criticized for Earls’ plea bargain. But Earls’ attorney at the time, Tim Mills, said the deal was fair considering the evidence.

"It is not our practice in the attorney general’s office to second-guess district attorneys or to reinvestigate cases that have already been disposed of,” Edmondson said. "This case was extraordinary ... because of the history of Mr. Earls and our conclusion based on that record and the evidence that ... if he were released from prison, he would offend again.”

Edmondson said the judge acted appropriately in accepting the plea bargain and the district attorney had limited resources in reaching the agreement.

The indictment was unsealed and read to Earls in the temporary Pittsburg County Courthouse. Ongoing coverage: David Harold Earls has disabled the comments for this article.


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