Judge dismisses two counts of indictment against trooper

Thursday, October 5th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MIAMI, Okla. (AP) _ An Ottawa County judge on Wednesday dismissed two counts of a six-count indictment against an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper charged with child molestation.

James Carl Pischel, 50, of Wyandotte is charged with two counts of second-degree rape by instrumentation, one count of indecent exposure, one count of sodomy and two counts of lewd molestation.

Special District Judge Bill Culver threw out one of the rape counts and one of the lewd molestation counts after two teenage girls testified at Pischel's preliminary hearing. The 26-year veteran trooper must still stand trial. He has maintained his innocence.

Authorities allege that between 1995 and 1998, Pischel fondled both girls.

The indecent exposure charge accuses Pischel of getting into bed naked with one of the girls and then exposing himself after she ran and hid in a bathroom.

The sodomy charge accuses him of forcibly performing oral sex on her.

Pischel was named Trooper of the Year by the Highway Patrol Society and was honored for his role in apprehending a Missouri man suspected of shooting his former girlfriend to death in 1999.

In 1998, Pischel was suspended for three days after an accident that occurred while he was test-driving a 1994 Chevrolet Camaro.

In that incident, he traveled an estimated 100 mph on a two-way highway just outside Miami while on duty and in uniform.

In 1980, the state Public Safety Department tried to fire Pischel, but the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission overturned that decision and gave him a 75-day suspension.

That resulted from his chasing a fleeing motorcycle through a northeast Oklahoma County residential area at 90 mph before he slammed into a car driven by the wife of then-Choctaw Police Chief John Whetsel. Whetsel's wife, Darlene Marie, 25, and daughter, Rebecca, 2, were killed. Whetsel now is Oklahoma County's sheriff.

Pischel was reprimanded for on-duty driving infractions in October 1974, October 1977 and March 1994, records show.

Culver set Pischel's arraignment for October 20. Pischel is free on $10,000 bail and must not have any contact with the victims, nor can he leave the state without permission of the Ottawa County authorities.

Pischel is on a paid leave of absence from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. If convicted, he could face 10 to 20 years in prison on each count.