“He was a monster,” Denise Earls, 43, said Friday. “He got a year sentence. I got a life sentence.”
Attorney General Drew Edmondson said his office is looking into the allegations.
“My investigators have talked to this newly identified victim,” he said. “We’re attempting to determine whether, in all likelihood, the statute of limitations has run on those offenses. But it would be additional information that if there were a trial of this person, Earls, that information may be admissible to show the propensity to commit this kind of crime.
“What I’m asking my office to do is, even if we’re barred from doing whatever Mr. Earls pled to, are there other crimes that he committed against this victim or this victim’s sibling that have not been wrapped up in this plea bargain that might be revived in a new prosecution?” Edmondson said.
Earls, 64, is scheduled to serve just three more months in a county jail and won’t go to prison. The one-year plea bargain took into account the time he was booked and held in jail since Sept. 24, 2008.
As a result, Earls is tentatively scheduled to be released Sept. 24, Pittsburg County jail administrator Missi Eldridge said.
Earls pleaded no contest last month to charges of first-degree rape and forcible sodomy.
As part of a plea bargain, he was sentenced to a year of incarceration and 19 years of a 20-year sentence were suspended.
The May 13 plea bargain and the child’s pretrial court appearance in front of Earls brought national and international outcries, even threats to the district attorney, J.B. Miller, whose assistants agreed to the sentence.
Two state representatives have called for proceedings to oust District Judge Thomas Bartheld, who accepted the plea bargain.
His assistants and the child’s family feared the girl would freeze up during the planned closed circuit testimony, Miller said. That, along with Earls’ age and his terminal cancer led to the plea bargain before the trial began.
Tim Mills, Earls’ attorney, did not return calls for comment.
Denise Earls has established a pleasant life with her husband, daughter and grandchildren, and long ago separated from her father’s family.
So she knew nothing of her father’s criminal case until her estranged mother called this week.
She said her father’s sentence angers her.
“They have computers, they have all kinds of ways to determine that he has family members,” she said. “You would have thought they would have tried to contact me to see if anything happened to me.”
She said she is coming forward in hopes her story eventually will get Earls a longer prison term.
“With the judge and DA, they need to be held accountable for their decisions,” she said.
The inappropriate touching began when she was 8 years old, she said. Her father was divorced from her mother when she was 1 year old, she said. She seldom heard from him, she said.
The Oklahoman typically doesn’t identify rape victims, but Denise Earls said she wants to be identified and share story told.
She said she was living with her mother and grandmother in Blackwell when her father stopped by in 1974 and spent one night in the washroom behind the garage.
She said that’s where he raped her.
Her father told her if she told anyone, she would no longer be allowed to live with her grandmother, she said. So she kept quiet.
“I was too afraid,” she said. “My grandmother was my rock. My grandmother was my savior. She’s the reason I’m a good person today.”
Denise Earls said she confronted her father in 1995, after she’d been married many years.
“He said, ‘I was drunk. I’m sorry. I don’t remember,’” she said.
“I said, ‘I have vivid memories.’”