A Tulsa County judge has ordered a Sand Springs couple to stand trial for multiple felony sex crimes involving the alleged sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl.
James Don Booker, 26, and Dana Mechele Langley, 45, were arrested in May after a teenage girl reported that the two adults made her have sex with them on multiple occasions in 2013 and 2014, when the girl was only 14 years old.
Reports say the young teen had questions about sex, and asked Langley, who is described as a relative of the girl. Booker and Langley allegedly decided to respond to the girl's curiosity by having sex with her. The sexual abuse reportedly occurred on multiple occasions, often in a parked vehicle at Keystone Dam.
In May, Langley was arrested on complaints of two counts of child sexual abuse, with bond set at $100,000. Booker was arrested on complaints of four counts of child sexual abuse, with bond set at $200,000.
Now, the couple are charged with a combined total of 14 felony counts related to the alleged sexual abuse. A judge ruled Thursday that there is sufficient evidence to order trial for each defendant.
A child sexual abuse child differs slightly from a charge of lewd acts with a child under 16, in that child sexual abuse typically involves a relative or someone who is responsible for the care of the child; a lewd acts charge would typically be filed against someone who is not related to a child or responsible for his or her care.
Child sexual abuse is defined in 21 O.S. § 843.5 as "willful or malicious sexual abuse, which includes but is not limited to rape, incest, and lewd or indecent acts or proposals, of a child under eighteen (18) years of age by another."
"Enabling child sexual abuse" is defined as allowing someone to care for a child when one "knows or reasonably should know that the child will be placed at risk of sexual abuse" by that person.
Under state law, child sexual abuse and enabling child sexual abuse are punished equally: up to life in prison. If the child involved is under the age of 12, the punishment is 25 years to life.
Image credit: Danny Ayers