By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A convicted child molester, who got out of prison in 2013, has been jailed on $125,000 bail pending an Oct. 7 court appearance on a charge of sexually abusing a 4-year-old boy on numerous occasions between Aug. 29 of last year and Aug. 29 of this year in Stillwater.
James Leroy Bear, 55, of Stillwater, who was given a court-appointed attorney at his arraignment this week, could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole if found guilty of child sexual abuse after four prior convictions for lewd molestation in Creek and Payne counties, court records show.
Bear was arrested by Payne County Sheriff’s Investigator Rockford Brown shortly before 4 p.m. on Aug. 30 in Bear’s vehicle, which “had a garden hose leading from the tailpipe into the cab of the vehicle via the window,” according to an affidavit filed last week.
“I observed Bear, who appeared to be deceased or sleeping, sitting in the driver seat with the motor running. I gave commands for Bear to show me his hands; Bear complied and he was taken into custody,” the sheriff’s investigator wrote in his affidavit.
On Aug. 29, the sheriff’s investigator had observed a forensic interview of the 4-year-old boy, according to his affidavit.
Bear was a family friend to the boy and “had unfettered access to the child,” the affidavit alleged.
The boy disclosed that he and Bear “slept in the same bed at times and neither wore underwear,” the affidavit alleged.
“Bear had touched (his) genitalia with his hand and performed oral sex,” on the 4-year-old boy, the affidavit alleged.
When the boy was seen on Aug. 30 by the nurse practitioner at the Saville Center, during the medical exam the boy further disclosed being anally raped by Bear that caused the boy to bleed, the affidavit alleged.
The sheriff’s investigator, who went to Bear’s trailer to arrest him on Aug. 30; said that “during an initial surveillance of the property, I discovered a vehicle matching the description of Bear’s hidden behind unoccupied trailer houses,” according to his affidavit..
About two weeks earlier, Bear had been charged with loitering within 300 feet of Highland Park Elementary School in Stillwater, court records show.
In that case, Stillwater Police Officer Justin Reedy was contacted at 9:16 a.m. on Aug. 14 by a Highland Park Elementary School employee “about a registered sex offender inside the building,” an affidavit said.
When the Stillwater officer arrived at the school, Bear was with a woman enrolling her student in kindergarten, his affidavit alleged.
“As I walked up to the front door, Bear was in the breezeway talking on the phone and he opened the door for me,” the Stillwater officer wrote in his affidavit.
The woman “listed on her registration papers Bear as being authorized to pick up her child and also listed him as a ‘friend,'” the affidavit alleged.
About three hours later, the Stillwater officer phoned the woman, the affidavit said.
“I asked her if she knew Bear’s history and she told me she did. She also said she has known Bear for about three and one-half years and they are neighbors. She said last night her car broke down and this morning Bear gave her a ride to Highland Park so she could enroll her child in kindergarten.
“She continued saying she knew the whole story of his history and there is more to the story and she does feel safe having her children around Bear,” the Stillwater officer alleged in his affidavit.
In that case that was filed as sex offender violation of a zone of safety, Bear was arrested on Aug. 20 and released the same day on $5,000 bail pending a court appearance this week, court records show. That offense carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,500 fine on conviction.
According to court records and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Bear had previously been convicted of:
* lewd or indecent proposals/acts to a child and forcible sodomy in 1997 in Creek County where a jury found him guilty in 1998, for which he was given a total of 17 years in prison that he began serving in 2001 and completed in 2007;
* lewd molestation and forcible sodomy in separate cases in 1997 in Creek County, to which he pleaded no contest in 1998 and received two concurrent 15-year prison terms that he began serving in 2007 and discharged in 2013;
* lewd or indecent proposals/acts to a child in 1997 in Payne County, to which he pleaded no contest in 1998 and received a five-year prison term of which he served two years.