PAYNE COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has arrested Assistant District Attorney Kevin Etherington on Child Pornography charges.
According to the OSBI, on September 1, 2022, numerous cybertips were forwarded to the OSBI’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) unit. The investigation identified Etherington as a possible suspect.
On Monday, November 28, 2022, OSBI ICAC Agents executed a search warrant at Etherington’s home. Based on what agents found, Etherington was taken into custody and transported to the Payne County Jail. He has been booked on one count of Aggravated Possession of Child Pornography and one count of Violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act.
Etherington currently serves as the First Assistant District Attorney for Payne and Logan Counties.
“It is with great personal outrage and devastation that I announce the arrest this evening of an attorney employee of my offices. This person has worked in Payne and Logan counties for 8 years. The arrest was made by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Internet Crimes Against Children Unit for possession of child pornography. Since called to prosecution nearly 38 years ago, much of my career has involved crimes against children and advocacy on their behalf. My offices have zealously prosecuted this crime and I, personally, find the manufacture, distribution and possession of child pornography to be both disgusting and incredibly damaging to individual victims and society. While the accused stands innocent of the alleged crime until proven guilty, my review of the investigation has resulted in this person’s dismissal from employment by my office.
It would not be appropriate for my office to prosecute the arrested; therefore, I have initiated the process by which I recuse and ask the Attorney General to assign the case to another District Attorney outside my district.
I must sincerely thank the OSBI, Internet Crimes against Children division, for their diligence in finding these offenders throughout our state, regardless of who they may be. Let me be clear that my loyalty is to you, the people I represent in my district, and in upholding the law and protecting our citizens, particularly the most vulnerable of us.
Members of the OSBI staffed the matter with me this morning at their headquarters. The people of our State should be proud of this division of OSBI, their complete professionalism and their mission to protect children. Again, I cannot express how dismayed and disappointed I am about this development. This office will not make further comments in this matter so as to not jeopardize prosecution by another District Attorney.”District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas