SHAWNEE, Okla. — “Nine students testified Monday that their former third-grade teacher took photos of them in her classroom and during a pizza party at her home while they were wearing tank tops and underwear, and prosecutors said the girls also were videotaped naked while changing clothes.
The students, aged 9 to 11, took the witness stand in Pottawatomie County District Court during a preliminary hearing for former McLoud teacher Kimberly Ann Crain of Shawnee and retired professor of early childhood development Gary Doby of Bloomsburg, Pa.
At the end of the proceeding, Special Judge Dawson Engle ordered both to stand trial on 18 counts of sexual exploitation of a child under 12, one count of conspiracy to commit sexual exploitation and one count of lewd molestation. He also bound Crain over on 11 counts of possession of juvenile pornography. Both could face up to life in prison.
Prosecutors allege that Crain, 49, took photos of as many as 14 young girls while they were changing clothes in her classroom and at her home and that she shared the images with Doby, 66. Crain and Doby have pleaded not guilty to numerous porn-related charges in the case. Formal arraignment was set for June 27.
The students testified that Crain took photos of them in her classroom and during a pizza party at her home while they were wearing tank tops and underwear.
A 9-year-old old girl testified that Crain told her to open her legs and do various dances that Crain then photographed.
“There was so much I can’t remember,” the girl said when District Attorney Richard Smothermon asked her how many photographs were taken.
In another incident, the girl said that Crain drew smiley faces on the chest of a shirt the girl was wearing.
The girl said she also talked to Doby via computer in Crain’s classroom.
“He would say `you are beautiful,'” the girl said. “Sometimes he would have a shirt on, sometimes he wouldn’t.”
Smothermon asked the girl if she wanted to change clothes at Crain’s home.
“I really didn’t, because I felt uncomfortable,” the girl replied.
Among the evidence introduced in the case was copies of photographs Crain allegedly took of the girls, including photos Smothermon said were taken by a hidden video camera that showed the girls naked as they changed clothes.
Another former student testified that she and other students went to Crain’s home around Christmas for a pizza party where they changed into panties and bras, then hid behind a couch when the pizza deliveryman arrived.
“We covered ourselves up so he couldn’t see us,” the girl said.
Several of the students said Crain told them not to tell their parents what they had done.
A 10-year-old girl said she reported what had happened to her parents and that her mother cried when she heard.
“She went to the bathroom and cried,” the girl said.
FBI Special Agent Andrew Farabow testified that he examined laptop computers used by Crain and Doby and found images of child and adult pornography. The lewd molestation charge involves an allegation that Crain invited one of her students to look at a computer screen that showed Doby exposing himself.
Crain, wearing a black and white striped prison uniform, sat quietly at a defense table in the courtroom as the girls testified while Doby, dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit and shackled at the ankles and wrists, sat next her. They did not speak to each other during the hearing and said nothing as they were led from the courthouse by sheriff’s deputies. They are each being held on $1 million bond.
Crain’s attorney, Craig Webb, declined comment, but Doby’s attorney, Karen Byars, expressed concern for the young girls.
“If they are able to prove that a crime was committed by my client, I sincerely hope that the press and the DA’s office will make a sincere effort to protect these young girls,” Byars said.
Smothermon told reporters it was difficult for the girls to testify while Crain and Doby sat nearby at the defense table.
“I was very proud of them,” Smothermon said of the girls.”