Prosecutors Lay Out Past Allegations Against Anthony Palma

Thursday, February 11th 2016, 9:01 pm
By: News 9

Prosecutors filed a motion this week trying to show a pattern of sex crimes linked to Anthony Palma.

Palma was arrested last October in connection to the murder and disappearance of Kristen Hatfield from 1997. Newly tested DNA linked Palma to the case after his DNA matched blood evidence from the scene.

10/13/15 Related Story: Kirsten Hatfield's Family 'Is Hopeful' After Anthony Joseph Palma's Arrest

In court documents, prosecutors lay out Palma's past allegations of multiple sexual assaults against two other girls and his landlord. Crimes that lead up to him allegedly kidnapping and killing Kirsten Hatfield.

“I think they are grasping at straws. I think they don't have a body, they've got DNA that's 17 years old,” said Irven Box, Palma’s attorney.

But what prosecutors hope to show is "a man whose crimes steadily escalate... culminating in the kidnapping, assault and murder of Kirsten Hatfield".

This week, the state filed an intent to offer evidence of the other crimes to a jury.

In the documents, prosecutors detail a past of two alleged sexual assaults on children and the details of his burglary and assault conviction.

Prosecutors said Palma's first sexual assault happened in 1979 or 1980 in Walters, Oklahoma.

Prosecutors said Palma "entered the home through the girl's bedroom window during the night".

Details of that case are similar to the Hatfield disappearance. And another alleged sexual assault happened in Midwest City the year after Hatfield disappeared.

Though, Palma was never charged with either sexual assault involving the juveniles.

“These are all sexual crimes they are trying to show, my client is not charged with a sexual crime. He's charged with murdering and kidnapping,” said Box

But the state believes presenting this evidence to a jury will "demonstrate proof of motive" in the Hatfield case and "paint a picture of a man with a dangerous propensity to break in to a residence during the night to commit a sexual assault".

Palma is still being held without bond at the county jail. His preliminary hearing is set for May.