Parents Of Molested Girl Petition Grand Jury Over Actions Of Rogers County DA

Thursday, August 29th 2013, 5:39 pm
By: News On 6

Six people recently signed a petition to request a grand jury investigation into the Rogers County District Attorney's Office and two county commissioners.

One Claremore couple hopes the grand jury will investigate how the DA's office handled their daughter's molestation case.

In the petition, there are claims the office cut a sweetheart deal with a child molester, didn't tell the victim's family about it beforehand and lied to the family afterward.

"We were close to them. We trusted them. Our children were best friends," Kristen Rohr said of her next-door neighbor, Tom Dougan.

She says on August 16, 2009, her family had spent the day celebrating Dougan's son's fourth birthday.

8/26/2013 Related Story: Sheriff Asks For Grand Jury To Investigate Rogers County DA, 2 Commissioners

Later that night, Kristen went to the Dougan house to clean up, so Tom Dougan went to the Rohr's house to watch TV, while the kids were in bed. Rohr's husband wasn't home and she didn't want the kids to be alone.

When she got home, Rohr said her 3-year-old daughter told her she had seen Tom's "winkie," and he asked her to kiss it and had touched her panties.

The Rohr's called police. Jordan was interviewed by specialists and the Rogers County DA filed lewd molestation charges.

If convicted, Dougan faced 25 years to life, would register as a Level 3 sex offender for life, and he would have had to serve 85 percent of his time since it's considered a violent crime.

Three years later, the DA's office offered Dougan a deal.

He pleaded guilty to indecent exposure, a non-violent crime, with three years in prison, seven on probation and registers as a Level 1 sex offender for 10 years.

8/27/2013 Related Story: Rogers County Commissioner Says He Welcomes Grand Jury Investigation

Rohr says her family was not notified before the plea deal, nor would they have agreed to it. She said they weren't told about it until a week later, then they weren't given the whole truth by the assistant who handled the case, Tim Wantland.

"You take that evidence and use it to the best of your ability, you don't throw it away and cut a deal behind the parents' back and amend a charge to a non-violent crime in a matter of minutes," Rohr said. "You don't do that. It's wrong and she had a responsibility - Janice Steidley, as the DA - not to allow that to happen."

The family hopes the grand jury petition doesn't just help bring out the truth in their case, but helps protect other families in the future.

Steidley says this complaint isn't true.

Assistant DA Wantland still believes the plea deal fit the situation, because of the child's young age and guaranteed some prison time rather than the risk of no time at trial. He claims he notified Mr. Rohrs about the plea bargain, and if there was miscommunication with the family, it wasn't intentional.