A planned interview with Scioto County Commissioner candidate Oran Crabtree did not go as planned on Friday afternoon. Crabtree had initially scheduled the live-streamed interview to respond to sex abuse charges leveled against him by a woman who says he assaulted her 27 years ago, when she was just 15. SCDN was able to view police records and statements, showing that the incident was reported to law enforcement at the time.
Scioto County Daily News publisher Mark Craycraft prepared a list of questions with input from SCDN’s investigative team. However, they became irate when Crabtree and his brother Keith arrived at the interview and discovered that Craycraft was there to ask the questions. Crabtree wanted to speak with SCDN live correspondent, Betty Smith, who had conducted an earlier interview about his run for Scioto County Commissioner.
Craycraft said that Crabtree wanted a rebuttal interview and SCDN was prepared to give it to him. “Are we going to do this interview or not. The people are live and waiting.”
Crabtree Says He Knew Nothing About Charges
Crabtree decided to speak, even though he said he did not feel he would get a fair hearing. He disputed the statement on the original police report that the parents did not wish to pursue charges and claimed he’d never heard anything about the allegation until just recently. “I was never contacted whatsoever. I was never once notified about this by anyone whatsoever.”
Crabtree refused to sit for the interview, saying he only wanted to make his statement and leave.
Craycraft asked Crabtree why he didn’t elaborate beyond calling the charges “political nonsense” when he first asked him for comment before the story was published. Crabtree said he did not have enough information to reply to the charges.
Crabtree accused SCDN of posting sensationalism. Craycraft responded that SCDN had pages of police reports and witness statements coupled with dozens of other individuals who claimed they were aware of teens using drugs and alcohol at Crabtree’s home in the late 90s. “This is not sensationalized. The way you’re acting is certainly sensational. Please be seated and let us do this in a productive way.”
Crabtree took issue with the statements in the police report being presented “gospel facts” and emphasized that no charges were filed at the time.
Crabtree was charged with sexual battery involving a patient during that same time period, but he pleaded down to a misdemeanor.
Crabtree Admits Younger Friends Count Have Thrown Parties
When asked if there were parties involving underaged kids at his home, Crabtree said he was not involved. He admitted that it was possible some of his friends could have had parties and brought underage people over but said, “I was so busy working, Mr. Craycraft.” He said repeated claims from individuals who claimed to have partied at his home were “false information.”
He did admit to having many young friends. “I had friends who were 21 or 22. Some of them had keys to my house. I was working all the time. I’ve worked my entire life. I had no time to supervise these young adults.” He said he’d not received any information alleging illegal activity at his home until a few days before. “I wasn’t even at my home 95% of the time. There was people who were good friends and relatives of mine that had the keys to my house. I allowed these people to come into my house anytime they wanted to. A lot of people were in and out of my house. I did not have time to be supervising adults who were in their twenties.” He said he was spending the majority of time with his girlfriend in town. “Whatever might have occurred at my residence out on Pine Lane, I was not in charge of. I had other adults who were younger than me in charge of it. I had no idea they were bringing in underage kids.”
Crabtree’s brother, Keith Crabtree, said his brother was not responsible for the actions of others. He asked Mark Craycraft if he had a 20-year-old staying at his house who threw a party, would he be responsible? Craycraft replied that he would be because it would be his house.
Oran Crabtree said, “Just because I decided to run for county commissioner, all this stuff from 30 years ago is being brought up.”
“Slaughtering People in Public”
When Craycraft once again asked Crabtree to sit down to talk, he replied. “Truthfully, Mr. Craycraft, I really don’t trust your opinion.”
Keith Crabtree accused Craycraft of “Slaughtering people in public.”
When Craycraft asked why he chose the word “slaughter,” Keith Crabtree replied, “Because that’s what you’re doing. You guys put a bunch of garbage on your website.”
The brothers then began to both speak at the same time, and it wasn’t easy to make out what they were saying, and they both left together.