Transcript released in disputed juvenile rape case hearing
Salesha Wilken Staff Reporter
A recently-released transcript of a closed Feb. 13 juvenile rape case hearing quotes the mother of the victim as agreeing to the prosecutor’s recommendation the defendant be sent to a psychiatric hospital instead of tried as an adult to face a possible prison term.
The mother had strongly criticized Assistant District Attorney Sean McConnell in a Feb. 19 Claremore Daily Progress story, six days after the court hearing, for proposing the arrangement, saying “that it is a complete lie” she was on board with it.
The newspaper did not have access to the court transcript of the proceeding to check what was said until Tuesday, when Rogers County Special District Judge Terrell Crosson agreed to release it after consulting with two other judges. Juvenile court proceedings are normally not available to the public in Oklahoma.
According to the transcript, McConnell told the court, in answer to a question from Judge Crosson, that the mother of the victim and the victim were both in accord with the recommendation of transferring the defendant from the county jail to the Shadow Mountain Institute near Tulsa for treatment.
No final decision was made at the hearing on the recommendation.
“Judge, They’re not happy about it. I talked to them or talked to the victim’s mother (name omitted) at length; but they understand the situation with the youthful offender and the age that we have, as far as the options that are on the table,” the transcript quotes McConnell as responding.
Judge Crosson then asks the mother, who was present with her daughter: “Is that correct?”
The mother replies, “That is correct.”
When the mother was contacted by The Daily Progress Tuesday night about her “complete lie” statement, she said: “I did not understand what the judge was asking me. I was simply agreeing with Sean’s statement, not with the option on the table. I was confirming that we had discussed it. I understood the options on the table, but I did not agree with it.”
“That was not the option that I chose. I was not made to feel that I had any choice,” she added.
“When I said it was a complete lie, I was not saying Sean (McConnell) lied in court. I was saying that I did not agree with his plea agreement.”