By Ashli Sims, The News On 6
OKEMAH, OK -- An Oklahoma school superintendent accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old will go to trial. Suspended Pocola superintendent Bruce Shelley was charged with rape, but after today's hearing a judge decided he will go to trial on three counts of lewd molestation.
With their black leather vests and fist-shaped patches the members of BACA or Bikers Against Child Abuse stood out in the small Okfuskee County courthouse. They're here to take some of the burden off some very tiny shoulders.
A 5-year-old little girl is testifying against the man she calls "Pa."
"Pa" is Bruce Shelley, her paternal step-grandfather.
The 5-year-old's mother, Kandyce, who we're only identifying by her first name to protect the identity of the victim says she called the police after her husband walked in on a disturbing scene in the child's bedroom.
He testified in Ofuskee County District Court that he discovered his 5-year-old step-daughter trying to sexually assault her younger brother.
Kandyce told The News On 6 back in July that she questioned her little girl about that incident.
"Why did you do that?" Kandyce asked her daughter. "She's like, 'I didn't do anything.' And, I'm like, Baby, Daddy's seen you. I need to know why did you do that?
"Because my Pa did it to me,'" Kandyce said her daughter answered.
After her mother and step-father testified, the 5-year-old girl herself took the witness stand. Her feet didn't even touch the ground but she told the judge what she says happened to her.
At first, the little girl denied anyone touched her. But she later told the judge, Shelley "touched her on her bad spot."
"I thought she did a very good job," said Prosecutor Maxey Reilly. "It's always difficult when you have a victim that age, but I thought she did very well under the circumstance."
The 5-year-old had to say these things with Bruce Shelley in the court room. And even though the prosecutor asked her twice, she refused to look around the room to identify Shelley.
Bruce Shelley's attorney did not want to comment on the case. If Shelley is convicted he could face up to 60 years in prison.