KUSH Radio

Published on: 03/13/2017

Former Cushing Prison Sergeant Given 8-Year Prison Term

Patti Weaver

1600kush.com

(Stillwater, Okla.) – Former Cimarron Correctional Facility sergeant John Scott Floro, 26, of Cushing, who still maintains he is innocent of forcible oral sodomy of a 6-year-old male relative, was formally sentenced Friday to an eight-year jury-recommended prison term by District Judge Phillip Corley.

In court Friday, defense attorney Royce Hobbs told the judge that Floro “is eligible for consideration of a suspended sentence or deferred in this matter.”

Objecting to any probation for Floro, prosecutor Debra Vincent countered, “I don’t believe this crime can be deferred.”

As Floro stood before the judge for sentencing, he said, “I still believe I should be found not guilty.”

In giving Floro the sentence fixed by a jury of seven men and five women that deliberated for two hours and 10 minutes at the close of his January trial, the judge said, “You have been found guilty by a jury of your peers.”

The judge told Floro that when he completes his prison term, he must comply with the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registration Act.

Probation and Parole Officer Juan Perez, who compiled a pre-sentencing investigation report for the judge, recommended that Floro be incarcerated followed by supervised probation.

Like Floro, his parents blamed the charge against Floro’s ex-wife, the report said.

The child is now in the custody of a female relative, the report said.

Floro had worked four years at the private prison in Cushing until he was terminated after the child sexual abuse charge was filed last June, the report said.

According to testing for the report, “The defendant’s defensive score, which measures reluctance to divulge personal information, was 14, which is in the high range.”

Floro said that in his leisure time he did “Bible studies, reading, gym, video games,” the pre-sentencing investigation said.

District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas said in a news release, “Child sexual abuse is very difficult to successfully prosecute. These crimes are usually committed in secret and juries are often asked to make serious decisions based primarily upon the child’s account of what happened.

“We are very pleased this jury gave serious consideration to the young victim’s statements regarding his abuse and found John Floro guilty. The protection of these most vulnerable of our citizens is a high priority for my office.

“We also want to acknowledge the good work of the Cushing Police Department and the Payne County Department of Human Services in their investigation of this case.”

The child made a disclosure at school on March 31, 2016, that he was sexually abused by Floro while he was in Floro’s care, Cushing Police Detective Rachel Hentges wrote in an affidavit.

During the three-day trial, Floro’s wife, who has moved away from Cushing, testified that she had never seen Floro physically or sexually abuse a child.

In his closing argument, the defense attorney emphasized to the jury that at the trial, “The victim came in the courtroom and pointed someone out,” who was not Floro.

But the prosecutor said in her closing argument, “The very fact that (the boy) did not identify the defendant,” did not decide the case, since the boy testified that his relative (Floro) “put his penis in his mouth and peed in there.”

“He said my (relative) needs me to help him. He was able to answer questions like a person can when something actually happened to him.

“His disclosures were consistent. In the forensic interview (shown to the jury), you were able to see he was able to demonstrate it.

“Asked what his (relative) was saying, he said ‘faster, faster.’ Those are the reasons why his statements are credible.

“Why did (the boy) say these things? He said them because they’re true. He tells a counselor. It happened. He told the truth,” the prosecutor said – emphasizing to the jury that the boy also told his mother and a forensic interviewer.”

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