TPS administrator charged in child sex crimes

TULSA - Robert Yerton, an assistant principal at Skelly Elementary, has been formally charged with one count of lewd molestation and two counts of sexual abuse.

Yerton was arrested Wednesday afternoon.

Court documents obtained by 2NEWS indicate three victims have come forward and alleged inappropriate conduct by Yerton.

The statue of limitations in one case from 1996 has expired. Charges have been filed in connection to two more recent incidents.

All three were children at the time of the alleged abuse.

A Tulsa police spokesperson told 2NEWS that Yerton has taught at four local schools: Skelly, Lindbergh, Cooper, and Disney. He was also involved with children's ministries at local churches. According to a timeline releases by police, Yerton taught at Disney Elementary School from 1993 to 2002 and again from 2006 to 2008. He was a children's minister at Garnett Church of Christ from 2002 to 2004. From 2004 to 2005, Yerton was a substitute teacher. Yerton was a principal intern at Lindbergh Elementary during the 2008-2009 school year. He began working as the assistant principal at Skelly Elementary in 2009.

A TPS spokesperson confirms that Yerton is on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.

Police are asking that if parents feel their child has had inappropriate interactions with Yerton, they should immediately call the Child Crisis Unit at 669-6504.

Last week, Tulsa police took several items into evidence from the Yerton's house as well as the school, including computers, computer equipment, and videotapes.

Tulsa Public Schools released the following statement regarding Yerton's arrest:

Tulsa Public Schools is deeply disturbed by the charges filed against one of the district's elementary school administrators. The district will do whatever is required to assist the Tulsa County District Attorney in resolving the case.

Robert Yerton has been with the district since 1993 and no one has ever reported him engaging in criminal activity of any sort. He was suspended on April 27 after TPS received a warrant to search his office and computer for evidence of lewd acts with a child. This was the first time administrators had ever heard anything that would indicate Yerton was accused of criminal abuse of a child.

Tulsa Public Schools is committed to delivering quality learning experiences to each and every student in a safe, secure and healthy environment. The district maintains an unwavering expectation that every employee conduct himself or herself in a manner that honors education and children. Tulsa Public Schools has and will continue to assist law enforcement in this and every case that impacts our students. We appreciate Tulsa Police detectives' diligence and thoroughness in investigating these criminal allegations. The additional information provided through the TPD investigation will be vital in the district's ongoing personnel investigation.

Skelly and TPS administrators are expected to follow the law and board policy in handling complaints against staff members. Such has been the case in handling any concerns expressed about Robert Yerton.

Stay tuned to 2NEWS and for the latest information as it become available.

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