Kimberly Crain, a former Oklahoma school teacher, receives 45 years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography and exploitation charges.
The 50-year-old former third-grade teacher changed her plea to guilty halfway through her sentencing hearing. She could have been sentenced to life in prison on multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a child under 12 and possession of juvenile pornography, plus separate counts of conspiracy to commit sexual exploitation and lewd molestation.
Crain tearfully apologized to members of her family, friends and the parents and other family members of more than a dozen former students. She was accused of taking sexually explicit photos of young female students in her classroom in McLoud, 30 miles east of Oklahoma City, and sharing them with retired early childhood development professor Gary Doby of Bloomsburg, Pa., who pleaded guilty to child exploitation charges in January and was sentenced to life in prison.
“Standing before you today is the most humbling experience I have ever had,” Crain said inside the crowded Pottawatomie County courtroom.
Wearing an orange jail-issued jumpsuit and shackled at the wrists and ankles, Crain’s words were hard to understand at times as she wept. She said she felt “intense remorse” for her actions and acknowledged she “made mistakes.”
“To my mom and dad, I want to say I’m sorry,” she said, occasionally wiping tears from her eyes with a tissue. “I’m sorry I had to go and disappoint you like this.”
Crain said her actions destroyed the respect she had earned from students, parents and faculty and staff at McLoud Public Schools.
“I regret my actions,” she said, looking toward her former students’ families. “Please accept my heartfelt apologies.”
District Judge John Canavan Jr. said he hoped resolution of the emotional case would help bring closure to family members of the young victims. “There’s no way the judicial system can make everyone whole again,” Canavan said.
Earlier, the judge accepted Crain’s guilty pleas to 31 felony counts, including 18 counts of sexual exploitation that will require her to serve 85 percent of her 45-year sentence, or 37 years and three months, before she is eligible for parole.
“You will be 87 years and several months old. Do you understand that?” Canavan said.
“Yes!” Crain blurted out emotionally.