SHAWNEE — Already convicted of a number of sex crimes against children, a former McLoud elementary schoolteacher revealed to a judge that she fears for her life if she is sentenced to a term in state prison.
Kimberly Crain, who pleaded guilty to 20 sex crimes in January, made the admission in a letter written to Pottawatomie County District Judge John Canavan.
The handwritten letter, dated March 7, is apparently one of several notes Crain has mailed to the judge from the Pottawatomie County jail.
Crain, 50, claims in the letter that female inmates at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center have been following her case “on the Internet and were waiting on me to come.”
“One of the ladies has grandkids in McLoud schools,” Crain wrote. “I've been told by girls that come in here about things that are posted on the Internet, therefore, many have preconceived views. Honestly, I'm scared to death.”
In her letters, Crain has asked the judge to consider giving her probation instead of jail time, saying that she will live with her husband and help with his mail-order business if she's allowed to return to society.
While in court in January, however, Canavan offered Crain little hope of avoiding jail time. Her co-defendant, former Oklahoma Baptist University professor Gary Doby, was sentenced to life in prison for the same crimes.
“The least I can sentence you to is 25 years,” Canavan told Crain following her Jan. 9 guilty plea.
A pre-sentence investigation conducted by a probation and parole officer working for the state Corrections Department does not help Crain's case, either.
“Based upon the background information compiled during this investigation and the seriousness of the charges, it is respectfully recommended that the defendant, Kimberly Ann Crain, be sentenced to a term of incarceration,” the officer wrote in the investigative report.
Letters from Crain to the judge also reveal how the former third-grade teacher's relationship with Doby developed over time.
Crain and Doby knew each other from their time at Oklahoma Baptist University, back in the 1980s. At that time, Doby was a professor. Crain was a student.
She claims the former OBU professor contacted her husband in either 2008 or 2009 to inquire about weightlifting equipment. It was the first time she had heard from Doby in nearly three decades, the letters reveal.
Crain said she and Doby developed a close friendship as she began taking graduate school classes. She said the relationship “escalated quickly in a direction I never thought possible.”
“By the beginning of the 2009 school year, my relationship with Gary went where it should never have gone,” Crain wrote.
Crain claims the 66-year-old Doby took advantage of her during a vulnerable period of her life. She wrote in the letters that a “hormone imbalance” brought on by menopause and a few sessions with a hypnotist, who she sought out for help losing weight, are possible explanations for her behavior.
In a lengthy letter attached to the presentence investigation report, Crain reveals she sent Doby a “candid snapshot” of a girl sitting in her classroom in McLoud during the 2010-11 school year. She said Doby commented that the photo made him “smile and feel good, so I wanted to continue to keep him happy.”
“After the first of the year in 2011, Gary persistently suggested that I have a sleepover with a few of the girls (from her class),” Crain wrote. “I started becoming very uneasy and wondered what I had gotten myself into. I didn't want to hurt his feelings but was unsuccessful in finding a way to stop.”
Court records show Doby would communicate with girls in Crain's class using Skype, often asking them to do sexually suggestive dance moves or other inappropriate things.
Crain, who depicts Doby as a manipulator, also admitted in the letters that she secretly videotaped girls changing during a party at her house.
Crain is set to be sentenced March 22, records show.