A Utah County jury Friday night found Arvid Oakley, 54, founder of Superkids of America Inc. of Springville, guilty of sexually abusing a 4-year-old neighbor girl in his home nearly two years ago.
Oakley was accused by the prosecution of sexually abusing the young girl and of setting up Superkids of America as a ruse to create opportunities to gratify his sexual desire to see young girls naked and to touch them.Under Superkids, Oakley took children camping, bowling, swimming and roller skating, and he frequently invited them to parties at his home.
Shortly after the verdict was announced, Oakley stood in the courtroom and told the victim's family members that he did not molest their daughters and they would come to know that as they grew up.
"I swear to you that I did not molest your daughters and I do it in the name of Jesus Christ," Oakley said.
"If it will make it easier, I will receive that judgment and I will sacrifice my life for that," Oakley went on. "When they find out the truth, I want them to know that I do not hold them responsible and I still love them."
Following two days of trial in a case that was derailed the first time around, a four-man, four-woman jury took less than 90 minutes to return the verdict on the first-degree felony.
The victim's aunt, Amanda Cragun, said the family is very relieved and very happy with the guilty verdict.
"Justice has been served here today," she said.
The first trial for Oakley was declared a mistrial in May by 4th District Judge Anthony Schofield after he learned a pair of jurors had discussed the case over lunch.
A neighbor became suspicious of Oakley after her daughter and her friends began to behave in sexual activities with one another after having been at his home.
The young victim involved in the case told a social worker Oakley touched her after a bath and fondled her. The child's testimony was recorded in the first trial, and her statements made on videotape to the social worker served as her testimony in the second trial since she refused to speak on the witness stand.
She pointed out Oakley as the man who touched her but simply nodded or didn't answer other questions.
Her 7-year-old cousin testified that she and another cousin often played at Oakley's home and slept over as well. The victim sometimes slept in Oakley's bedroom, said the cousin.
Boys invited to the sleepovers were put outside in the garage and shed while the girls were in the house.