Former TPS assistant principal Robert Yerton Jr. takes stand in own molestation trial

TULSA - A former Tulsa Public Schools administrator accused of molesting young boys could find out his fate Thursday.

Robert Yerton Jr., a former teacher and assistant principal with TPS, is accused of sexually abusing several boys over an eight-year period.

Both the state and Yerton's attorney rested their case Wednesday. Closing arguments begin Thursday morning, then the jury gets the case.

Yerton took the stand Wednesday in his own trial.

Since testimony began, Yerton's alleged victims, including a 20-year-old family member, and several former coworkers have taken the stand, but it was a surprise for state prosecutors when Yerton's attorney called him to testify Wednesday. 

Yerton's attorney says he's the one who knows best what happened.

On the stand, Yerton denied ever inappropriately touching the boys. Instead, Yerton said students would hug him. He said he counted hugs from 130 students one day at lunch.

Yerton said he's been through training to interact and appropriately touch students. He claims he used a calming technique for enraged students when he had the children sit in his lap.

Prosecutors say there's no evidence Yerton ever told Tulsa Public Schools nor police about an enraged student and this technique.

A search warrant found homosexual pornography on Yerton's computer. Yerton told the jury he has gone through recovery programs for porn addiction.

The former Skelly Elementary assistant principal is facing five felony charges, including three counts of lewd molestation and two counts of sexually abusing a child.

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