WEWOKA — A hearing is set Jan. 22 to determine whether child rape charges should be dropped against convicted rapist David Harold Earls, 65. A grand jury indicted Earls in September on additional charges after his 2009 Pittsburg County plea bargain of a one-year sentence, with 19 years suspended, for child rape and sodomy sparked national outrage. Earls’ attorney contends his client shouldn’t face trial for additional allegations involving a 4-year-old girl, who was the victim in the other case, and her brother. Attorney Albert Hoch claims the case violates the ban on double jeopardy and wants charges dropped, court papers show. The state contends Earls is being prosecuted for "three entirely different” acts of lewd molestation.” Earls’ preliminary hearing had been scheduled for today. Hoch contends a multicounty grand jury should have barred from looking at lewd and indecent acts with a child under 16. The state contends the single county grand jury that met had the responsibility of investigating alleged crimes of "all character and grades.” The issue next week goes before Judge George Butner in Wewoka because the four McAlester judges removed themselves from the case.
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