Students testify at preliminary hearing of former Perry teaching assistant

PERRY, Okla. - Taking the stand, students from Perry Elementary School were in court.

They testified against a former teaching assistant accused of inappropriately touching them.

85-year-old Arnold Cowen walked out the Noble County courtroom with his head down after hearing testimony against him.

The preliminary hearing lasted nearly eight hours.

Cowen didn't answer any questions and proceeded to drive off.

The former Perry Public Schools teaching assistant is charged with 22 counts of lewd acts with a child under 16.

One by one, 10 girls from the school came in and out of the Noble courtroom Monday.

Many walked out looking relieved, while others looked visibly shaken.

The girls are testifying against the former teaching assistant and allegations he inappropriately touched students at the school.

Cowen was arrested back in February on the charges.

Now, this is a just a preliminary hearing; a judge will determine if testimony Monday and Tuesday will be enough for the case to go to trial.

Monday night, the school board will consider a vote on the resignation of the school superintendent.