SHAWNEE — One of the girls who was sexually abused by former McLoud schoolteacher Kimberly Crain claims the convict is a “monster” who haunts her victims in their sleep and waking lives.
Crain has been behind bars since late 2011, yet she looms large in the minds of her victims, still struggling to cope in the aftermath of a series of crimes that shook the rural community in Pottawatomie County to its core.
A series of victim impact statements, written by the parents of 10 of the girls abused by Crain, shows the former teacher's crimes will have long-lasting effects on the children involved, as well as their families. The written statements are some of the only public comments made by the victims' parents.
Attorneys representing the parents and victims, who are suing the McLoud school district because much of the abuse was carried out in the third-grade classroom at the elementary school, have not allowed their clients to publicly comment since Crain was arrested in December 2011.
In the meantime, Crain has become somewhat of a boogeyman to at least one of her victims.
“She still has nightmares where she sees Kimberly Crain as a ‘monster' who chases her in her dreams,” one of the parents wrote in a statement. “At first my daughter felt sad for her teacher. She didn't think it was ‘OK' to be mad about what happened.”
Nearly all of the victims' parents wrote that their children have required extensive counseling since the crimes were uncovered. Many of the girls also have problems trusting adults and exhibit signs of paranoia and “hyper-vigilance,” the victims' parents wrote in the statements.
“(My child) was a very active, outgoing child,” parents of one of the girls wrote. “Since the incident, (she) is very shy and questions everything and everyone. She has trust issues. She has trouble trusting teachers.”
One of the parents wrote of a child who was “embarrassed of her association with Mrs. Crain” and the former teacher's online lover and accomplice, Gary Doby.
“Mrs. Crain was her favorite teacher until this case came about,” the parent, a single mother, wrote in a statement dated March 3. “But after this case was brought to light, (my child) now has problems with trusting any other teachers or adults.”
One girl apparently stopped eating while the crimes were being committed.
At the time, her parents struggled to find out what was wrong with their daughter, sending her to see a therapist even before Crain was arrested.
“The answer I got was that something has physically or mentally happened to (my child) in order for her to refuse to eat,” one of the parents wrote in a typewritten letter. “Eating is a controlled habit and she had control of whether she would or not and did not have control of something ‘uncomfortable' in her life.”
Crimes shocked community
Crain, 50, was arrested Dec. 1, 2011, after she brought several girls to her house and made them change into bras and panties. The girls were then photographed and videotaped as they danced around and decorated a Christmas tree inside Crain's home.
One of the girls told her parents what happened. Soon after, the girl's distraught parents alerted police.
In the months leading up to the high-profile arrests, Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon said Crain and Doby would conspire to get the girls to Skype with Doby and photographed them in various inappropriate poses. The prosecutor said the abuse of the girls went on for “pretty much the whole 2011 calendar year.”
Doby, who was living in Pennsylvania at the time of his arrest, is a former Oklahoma Baptist University professor who specialized in child education. He and Crain have known each other for the past three decades, but it's believed the pair's relationship turned romantic over the past three or so years.
Smothermon described Doby as a “pure pedophile” who used Crain to gain access to a classroom full of trusting, vulnerable young girls.
Doby, 66, knew each of the girls in Crain's class by name. The girls referred to him as “Uncle G.”
“I spent probably two hours with him. ... he is a monster to children,” the prosecutor said.
“The difference between he and Mrs. Crain is that he recognizes what he is. Recognizes that the feeling he had toward small children is wrong.”
Court records show the girls maintain an awareness of the crimes.
“(My child) has anger issues and has a hard time expressing herself and how she is feeling,” parents of one of the girls wrote in a statement dated March 13. “She is scared when someone tries to take a picture of her. She thinks someone is going to hurt her all the time.”
In addition to a fear of being photographed, many of the girls have suffered academically since the arrests of Crain and Doby in late 2011. At least two of the girls' parents wrote that their child now requires an individualized education program, or IEP, which is typically written for students with learning disabilities.
“(My child) was a straight A student until her third grade year in Mrs. Crain's class,” one parent wrote in statement dated March 4. “(Then), her grades began to drop and (she) was failing. We had to get her in an IEP class where she could get caught back up.”
At least two of the girls have changed schools or will be doing so in the near future, court records show.
Some of the parents wrote in the impact statements that their children have been treated differently at school since news of Crain's secret life became public.
“It has people looking at us like it's our fault this happened, how the girls get treated different at school,” one parent wrote. “We will be switching schools next year.”
‘Rest of her life'
Crain was sentenced to 45 years in prison by District Judge John Canavan. She will be eligible for parole in 37 years, just three years before she turns 90.
Doby was sentenced to life in prison. He would have to live well beyond 100 before he is eligible for parole.
But even though Crain and Doby are, for all intents and purposes, locked away for the rest of their lives, the crimes they committed continue to haunt the victims and their families.
“It is a ‘secret' that everybody knows about and talks about,” a mother of one of the girls wrote in a statement dated March 1. “It will also be something my daughter has to carry around with her for the rest of her life.”