McALESTER — With ankle chains rattling, child rapist David Harold Earls on Monday appeared at the courthouse where a grand jury is investigating new sex allegations against him. Earls, 65, was convicted earlier this year of raping a 4-year-old girl and is jailed until Sept. 24 after plea bargaining a one-year sentence. He was escorted into the judge’s office Monday afternoon and stayed about 10 minutes. Then he was led back to an elevator to be returned to jail and jurors left for the day. Earls is scheduled to testify at 8:45 a.m. today. Earlier, a child’s voice wafted from the courtroom in the temporary Pittsburg County Courthouse. Voices from what sounded like video testimony, sometimes punctuated by loud comments from the child being questioned, came from behind the locked courtroom door. The first video lasted about 30 minutes; the second about 40 minutes. During an earlier morning break, the rape victim’s mother said she just wants her children to move on with their lives. "How do you forget something like that? You may put it in the back of your mind but it’s still there,” she said. The county grand jury is investigating new allegations of lewd and lascivious acts against a child under 14. Earls’ plea bargain in May of one year in jail, plus 19 years suspended, brought a national outcry. The rape victim and her brother are fine, their mother said. The mother was behind closed doors for about an hour Monday with the jury. Her testimony is expected to indicate Earls had a pattern of abusing children. The girl’s mother said she accepted Earls’ sentence because he is thought to have about five years to live. "One year to him is like 20 years to a normal, healthy person,” she said. "That’s why I was OK with the one-year sentence.” Earls’ former girlfriend, Bobbie Oglesby, accompanied the victim’s mother. She said Earls seemed very caring during the couple of months they dated. "I never had an inkling there was anything going on,” she said. "When (the grandmother) called and told me about it, it was a teetotal mind-blower.” Earls’ attorney in the rape case, Tim Mills, was in the courthouse representing clients in other cases. He said he hasn’t been subpoenaed, and he doesn’t know whether he will be asked to represent Earls before the grand jury. "I’m pleased with the outcome we got the first time,” Mills said. "I’m not sure I want to go through it again.” Before noon, a woman who accompanied the victim’s mother apparently passed out while she was in the hallway. Firefighters carried her away on a gurney.
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