David Abston has decided to forgo a preliminary hearing. The former police officer and skating rink owner is charged with 28 counts of sexually abusing young boys. The News On 6â€™s crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports Abston giving up his right to Tuesdayâ€™s hearing is the first step toward him reaching a plea deal and avoiding a trial.
David Abston was wearing a red jail jumpsuit on Tuesday. His hands were cuffed and so were his legs. He was only in the courtroom about five minutes and stood in front of the judge the whole time. He didn't say much beyond answering yes or no to the judge's questions.
David Abston's lawyer, Keith Ward, says they knew if boys testified about the times they say Abston watched them shower, gave them porn videos to watch, along with sex toys, and sex acts they received, a judge would probably order Abston to stand trial. So, he decided to bypass the testimony and move to the next phase which could pave the way for a plea deal.
Tulsa Countyâ€™s District Attorney wants a deal, so the boys don't have to go through the trauma of telling their stories in open court, but he wants an agreement that also means punishment.
"To keep these young victims or children from having to testify. Go through this, so we can reach a deal that obtains justice not only for these kids, their families and the community, we'll attempt to do that to the best of our ability. If not, we'll go to trial,â€ said prosecutor Tim Harris.
Certainly, if a jury hears and believes the boys' stories, Abston could be looking at a huge prison sentence. Abston says he also wants to spare the boys. He also wants to keep possible prison time down as much as possible.
"His main concern is the number of years that he might get, simply because he does want to return to society as a productive member of society at some point in his life,â€ said Abstonâ€™s lawyer Keith Ward.
Abston is already a 56-year-old man serving a 30 year federal sentence for child pornography, so getting out may seem like a long shot, but his attorney plans to appeal that sentence and hopes to get it reduced.
Both sides plan to keep talking between now and next month's court date. The thing that strikes you when reading the charges against Abston, is not just how many boys there are, but how similar their stories are even though they were interviewed separately.
This is largest child molestation case ever presented in Tulsa County.
Watch the video: Accused Molester Wavies Hearing
11/14/2006 Broken Arrow Child Pornography Investigation
11/15/2006 Suspect In Broken Arrow Child Pornography Case Fails To Appear In Court
11/16/2006 David Abston Arrested By Bixby Police
11/17/2006 Man Facing Child Pornography Distribution Charge Appears In Federal Court
1/9/2007 Motion To Dismiss Denied In David Abston Federal Court Case
2/5/2007 Child Pornography Suspect Seeks Plea Deal
2/7/2007 Child Pornography Suspect Heads To Court
3/8/2007 David Abston Pleads 'Guilty'
5/30/2007 More Charges Filed in Child Pornography Case
6/1/2007 New Information About Accused Child Molester
7/25/2007 Abston Sentencing Delayed
8/31/2007 Abston Sentenced In Child Pornography Case
11/26/2007 Abston Hearing Delayed Until December