A jury found former Tulsa assistant principal Robert Yerton guilty on three of five counts in his sexual abuse trial early Friday.
Yerton worked as an administrator at Skelly Elementary School and was charged with lewd molestation and child sexual abuse.
The jury returned with its verdicts at 2:30 a.m. It recommended Yerton spend 27 years in prison.
The jury convicted Yerton on counts two, three, and four – which were Child Sex Abuse, Child Sex Abuse and Lewd Molestation of a Child. Counts two and three both involve a family member of Yerton's and the abuse happened between 2003 and 2009. The jury recommended 12 years on each of those counts. Count 4 involved a 7-year-old Skelly Elementary student from November 2009. Jury recommended three years on that conviction.
Yerton was acquitted on counts one and five, which are both Lewd Molestation of a Child. Count one involved a 6-year-old boy in October 2009 who was a student at Skelly Elementary. He was the first person to accuse Yerton, which led to the other boys stepping forward.
Count five involved an 8-year-old boy from August 2001 to February 2002 at Disney Elementary School where Yerton taught before becoming assistant principal at Skelly.
Yerton started sweating, having breathing problems and apparently blacked out for a second just before the verdict was read.
EMSA was called and as soon as the verdict was read, he was carted out on a stretcher and taken to a Tulsa hospital.
"It's just one of these cases where there's too much behind it. They had more mud than I had water," Yerton's attorney Richard O'Carroll said.
"It had been covered up for so many years there's no telling how many more victims he could have had or how long he could have been in that profession that he was in but for the courage of these very young boys," said Tulsa County Assistant DA Sarah McAmis.
"Regardless of the outcome, they know that they were part of a very important process, not only for them but now...this man, who hurt a lot of kids for a lot of years, no longer will have the ability to do that."
Formal sentencing for Yerton is set for October 11.
McAmis says her office is asking for the sentences to run consecutively for a total of 27 years.