JAY – A Salina man has been charged with lewd molestation and sexual battery.
Tony Downing, 54, Salina, was charged on Friday, Aug. 24, in Delaware County District Court with two counts of lewd or indecent acts to a child under 16, and one count of sexual battery.
On Friday, the court issued an arrest warrant and $50,000 bond. As of press time, Downing has not been taken into custody.
The crime of lewd or indecent acts to a child under 16 carry no less than three years, and no more than 20 years within the Oklahoma State Department of Corrections per count. The crime of sexual battery is punishable for up to 10 years in prison.
Downing was employed until early November 2017 as a part-time journalist with The Delaware County Journal.
About the charges
According the information from the probable cause affidavit released by Delaware County Sheriff's Detective Tracy Shaw, Downing allegedly sexually molested at least three boys between the ages of 12 and 16 between January 2015 and November 2017.
Shaw said Downing took two polygraph examinations on May 2, 2018, in the Delaware County Sheriff's Office. Both tests were conducted by Oklahoma Highway Patrol personnel.
In both cases, Shaw wrote in the affidavit, Downing's examination results showed "deception indicated."
At that time, Downing allegedly told Shaw "he did not do the things he [was] accused of and could not explain why the polygraph results indicated he was lying."