Two Oklahoma Child Molestation Cases Reported after Delays

An Oklahoma lewd acts defense lawyer understands that, often, the desire to protect potential victims of child molestation will result in the trampling of the rights of the accused.  While investigators should not act rashly, however, reports of child sexual abuse should be taken seriously.  In two separate cases in Oklahoma this week, children told adults that they had been sexually abused, but the adults delayed telling police about the alleged crimes. In the first case, out of Oklahoma City, a 4-year-old girl told her mother that 25-year-old James Percifield had exposed himself to her.  The mother did not believe the girl until a teacher showed the mother a drawing the girl made that depicted a penis between her legs.  The teacher contact occurred on September 11, two days after the girl reported the alleged indecent exposure to her mother.  The following day, the girl's 7-year-old sister told her mother that Percifield had touched her private parts and forced her to touch him as well.  Percifield was held without bail in the Oklahoma County jail while awaiting transfer to the Cleveland County jail. In the second case, a Tulsa church is accused of waiting for approximately two weeks to report an alleged rape on campus to police.  Allegedly, a 13-year-old girl was raped by a church employee in a stairwell at Victory Christian Center on August 13.  The girl reported the incident to church youth leaders two days later.  The church fired the employee, but did not report the alleged rape to police until August 30. Chris Denman, 20, was charged with first degree rape, forcible oral sodomy, and use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime. Denman has also been charged with lewd molestation in connection with incidents involving a 15-year-old girl who attended the church.  Another employee fired by the church is also expected to be charged in that case. Allegations of sex abuse can have serious ramifications for both the accuser and the accused.  It is important that reports of sexual abuse and rape be taken seriously, protecting the rights of all parties during a thorough investigation.