“It Is What It Looks Like”: Sapulpa Police arrest alleged molester of 8-year-old autistic girl

When she caught him with his pants down, the man said to her, "It is what it looks like," and "Do you want some of this, too?"

Following a call to police dispatch, Officer Steven Funk of the Sapulpa Police Dept. responded to a home on S. Mounds concerning a possible sex crime. On Saturday, October 27th about 3:38 p.m., he spoke to the mother of the alleged victim, who is an autistic, 8-year-old girl. The child is non-verbal.

The mother left the child inside their residence while she went outside to smoke a cigarette on the front porch. Then she heard a strange noise from her daughter and went inside to check on her. She allegedly saw her daughter backed into a corner of the kitchen, nude, with her arms raised, and she looked scared. Standing about 1-2 feet away was the defendant, John W. Pingleton, age 53, with his jeans pulled down to his knees. He had his boxers on, but she said he had an erection. The defendant began pulling his pants up and the victim’s mother swore at him and asked what was going on.

The defendant allegedly made several statements to her, like “It is what it looks like” and “Do you want some of this, too?” while walking toward her and pulling his shirt up, is if he were “prison tough.”

The victim was removed from the scene for safety and the victim’s grandmother called police. The child has “textile” issues related to her autism and often undresses herself, but they had just dressed her prior to going out on the porch.

Pingleton is the grandmother’s brother, the mother’s uncle, and the victim’s great-uncle. He had been living with them since June when he was released from prison on probation for murder.

Officer Funk tried to talk to the defendant, but he refused to cooperate. Officer Amy Nichols arrived on the scene and tried to talk to the defendant, but he told her to leave his house and that she was breaking the law. Officer Nichols arrested the defendant and tried to interview him again.

Pingleton ordered Nichols to release him accused her of breaking the law since the officer didn’t see him commit a crime and mumbled other things about how he was charging her under the “Treaty of Organized Crime” and other nonsensical statements.

Records showed that Pingleton has one prior felony conviction for first-degree murder in 2008. He received a life sentence, with all but the first 25 years suspended, and had been released in June of 2018.

About the Author

Lottie Wilds is a native Oklahoman and a multi-talented woman—she is a mother, grandmother, Navy veteran, and lifelong creator. Lottie loves to quilt, decorate, garden, swim, paint, and write stories. She is grateful for every day she gets a chance to get it right.


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