Former TPS Administrator Takes Stand In His Lewd Molestation Trial

Wednesday, August 29th 2012, 1:42 pm
By: News On 6

A former assistant Tulsa Public Schools principal took the witness stand in his own defense Wednesday and denied ever touching boys in a sexual way.

Robert Yerton is charged with five counts of lewd molestation and child sexual abuse.

His trial began last week in Tulsa County District Court.

Robert Yerton is accused of molesting young boys, going back to his days as a teacher at Disney Elementary in the early 2000s, and to his role as an assistant principal at Skelly Elementary in 2009.

The prosecution rested its case Wednesday morning, and the defense wasted no time in calling Robert Yerton to the stand.

He said all of his accusers, including one family member, were lying and said a vindictive school counselor was out to get him.

Yerton admitted that he looked at pornography on his home computer, but he did not have an explanation when prosecutors asked him why those same explicit sites were found on a laptop that he used at school.

Yerton also admitted that he would hug children at school. He said he recalled, at one lunchtime, giving out more than a hundred hugs, but he says it was always because the children approached him wanting a hug, and that he would quickly move away.

8/22/2012 Related Story: Testimony Begins In Molestation Trial Of Former Tulsa School Administrator

Prosecutors also asked Yerton about instances when he would allow a child to sit on his lap or hold the child from behind.

Yerton told the jury that he was doing that to calm an "enraged" child and that it's an acceptable practice in early childhood education.

But he also admitted to prosecutors that he had no evidence or documentation to back up the claim.

The prosecution alleges Yerton made up that reason only after he was charged with molestation.

The mother of a man who has accused of Yerton of improper behavior, but is not listed as a victim in this case, also testified.

She told the court that Yerton talked to her then 11-year-old son about sex, but that she agreed with the advice Yerton gave him.