at, along with Earls’ age and his terminal cancer led to the plea bargain before the trial began. Tim Mills, Earls’ attorney, did not return calls for comment.
Daughter speaks outDenise Earls has established a pleasant life with her husband, daughter and grandchildren, and long ago separated from her father’s family. So she knew nothing of her father’s criminal case until her estranged mother called this week. She said her father’s sentence angers her. "They have computers, they have all kinds of ways to determine that he has family members,” she said. "You would have thought they would have tried to contact me to see if anything happened to me.” She said she is coming forward in hopes her story eventually will get Earls a longer prison term. "With the judge and DA, they need to be held accountable for their decisions,” she said. The inappropriate touching began when she was 8 years old, she said. Her father was divorced from her mother when she was 1 year old, she said. She seldom heard from him, she said.
Keeping quietThe Oklahoman typically doesn’t identify rape victims, but Denise Earls said she wants to be identified and share story told. She said she was living with her mother and grandmother in Blackwell when her father stopped by in 1974 and spent one night in the washroom behind the garage. She said that’s where he raped her. Her father told her if she told anyone, she would no longer be allowed to live with her grandmother, she said. So she kept quiet. "I was too afraid,” she said. "My grandmother was my rock. My grandmother was my savior. She’s the reason I’m a good person today.” Denise Earls said she confronted her father in 1995, after she’d been married many years. "He said, ‘I was drunk. I’m sorry. I don’t remember,’” she said. "I said, ‘I have vivid memories.’”
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