Family Wants Judge To Accept Plea Deal In Child Sex Abuse Case

Friday, February 11th 2011, 5:05 pm
By: News 9

Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

SAYRE, Oklahoma -- A family in Beckham County wants a judge to accept a plea deal in a child sex abuse case involving a seven-year-old girl and her mother's boyfriend.

Billy Dean Clark, 30, is accused of hitting and molesting the girl. He is currently out on bond.

The family is concerned the child has been traumatized enough and is too fragile emotionally and mentally to have to testify at trial. They say she has a history of mental illness and is too unstable.

"We are just looking for justice," said Brad Clanahan, the seven-year-old's grandfather. "The child has been through enough. We don't want to put her through a trial. We don't want her to go through all that but we also don't want this man walking out of the courthouse scot-free."

The family has offered a plea agreement to Clark where he would serve 10 years probation and have to register as a sex offender, but would avoid any jail time.

"We want some degree of justice for this child. We do not want the charges dropped," said Holly Clanahan, the girl's great-aunt and former foster mom.

The defense has agreed to the plea deal but a judge has not.

In a hearing Friday, Associate District Judge F. Pat Versteeg stated his concerns about the plea deal. He said it's a serious case and that according to the probable cause affidavit it makes it highly improbable for a plea deal.

The judge has reserved to make a ruling until Monday, when he will have chance to hear from licensed psychologist. Judge Versteeg said he wants to hear from an expert before making a ruling.

Defense Attorney David Brooks, who represents Clark, said his client did not molest the seven-year-old and they are ready to go to trial.

Should a trial happen, the family said the D.A. has already presented a motion to dismiss the trial because they will not force the girl to testify.

"We just don't know why the judge won't accept it. Everyone's in agreement on the plea deal. He needs to not be afraid to do his job," said Brad Clanahan.

The next hearing has been scheduled for Monday, February 14 at 1:30 p.m.