Monday, October 31, 2016

Judge Finds Sallisaw Man Guilty

A 38-year-old Sallisaw man was found guilty of rape Oct. 21 in Sequoyah County District Court.

The guilty verdict was almost exactly two years and a week after Bryan Lee Tatum was charged on Oct. 15, 2014 with rape by instrumentation and lewd molestation. He entered a not guilty plea to the charges, and his bond was set at $50,000.

According to the Sallisaw police report, Tatum allegedly sexually assaulted a five-year-old girl on several occasions. The mother of the child said she confronted the suspect after one incident, and he threatened to kill her and her family. When interviewed by Sallisaw police, Tatum said his accusers were lying, and he asked for an attorney.

Tatum elected to be tried not by a jury but a judge, and Special District Judge Matt Orendorff heard the case Oct. 21 and found Tatum guilty.

Orendorff ordered a pre-sentencing investigation, and set sentencing for Nov. 9.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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