Alleged victims, parents testify as Shawnee Christian school founder appears in court

OLATHE, Kan. -- The former director of a Christian school in Johnson County is in court this week, and on Tuesday, alleged sex abuse victims and their families testified in a preliminary hearing.

Dennis Creason is facing nine counts of indecent liberties with a child, and all the incidents allegedly happened inside Oaklawn Christian Academy in Shawnee.

The testimony in this case absolutely heart-wrenching and deeply disturbing. FOX4 is not identifying the witnesses since we are hearing from alleged sexual abuse victims and their mothers.

The first mother to take the stand had two daughters attending Oaklawn under Creason's direction. In August 2018, her 6-year-old daughter talked about having seen a man's genitals.

"She was very worried that she had told their secret, and she was worried that he would be mad at her," the mother said.

During their conversation, the mother said her child first told her a friend had touched Creason's genitals. Then the child later told her mother that she had, too.  The mother took her daughter to get checked out at the hospital and police began investigating.

She said her daughter hasn't been the same since.

"She had become very emotional and could be triggered very easily. She would cry for no reason," the mother said Tuesday. "She had started wetting the bed probably three or four times a week. She hated her pants being wet. That was a big trigger and still is."

She and a second mother both said their daughters accuse Creason of constantly forcing them to sit on his lap.

Some of the girls alleged he'd remove his genitals and have the girls rub them. If anyone came near, he'd tell the children to leave, they said.

The second mother alleges two of her daughters were also made to lay on the floor on top of Creason or hang upside around his neck with their genitals near his face, she testified Tuesday.

"She would ask him to stop, and he would not," the second mother said.

Two former Oaklawn students also testified. The first, who is now an adult, said she initially wasn't worried about the way Creason tickled and hugged kids.

"When you were younger, you thought Dennis was super cool and super fun?" the defense attorney asked.

"Yes," she said.

But when she got older, she said she started to understand boundaries and had at least two experiences where she believes Creason was inappropriate.

In one instance, she testified she thought he tried to kiss her.

"I started to panic and couldn't pull away right away, so I yelled for him to stop. He did and backed away, and I ran from the worship center," she said.

The mother of that young woman, who was a teen at the time, met with Creason and his wife and insisted that in no way, was his contact with kids appropriate.

"If touching makes someone feel uncomfortable, it's just not good," the third mother said.

All of the victims stopped attending Oaklawn after they made parents and police aware of the alleged abuse.

Creason's preliminary hearing is expected to continue for a couple of days before his trial date is set.

Shawnee police said they received nearly 60 tips of varying degrees during the course of their investigation. Eleven of the cases were ultimately forwarded to the district attorney for consideration of criminal charges.

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