PRYOR, OK —
A jury of six men and six women returned a verdict of not guilty in the trial of Joe Matthew Estes, better known as Safari Joe.
Estes was charged with rape by instrumentation and lewd molestation involving two girls who were minors at the time of the alleged offenses. He was found not guilty on both counts.
It was alleged that Estes “slightly” inserted his finger in the vagina of one girl (L.B.J.), who was 11 or 12 at the time of the incident, which occurred during the summer of 2006. The alleged incident took place in the cab of Estes’ truck, while L.J. was laying down next to her friend, C.G. The second girl (C.G.), also 11 or 12 at the time, alleged that Estes climbed into her bed at around the same time period and placed his hand down her pajama pants, touching her “private parts.” During the trial, it was revealed that C.G. said she was unsure if it had been a dream or if it really happened.
Assistant District Attorney Marny Hill prosecuted the case. Estes was represented by Attorney Stanley Monroe and Misty Fields of Tulsa.
“This case is about strength and weakness. This case is about the strong preying upon the weak. The loud taking advantage of the quiet. The mighty taking advantage of the meek,” Hill said in her opening statement.
Hill explained that during the summer of 2006, Estes was living with his then girlfriend, Heather Simpson. Simpson had moved in with her three children. She had two sons from her previous marriage and was legal guardian to a daughter (C.G.), born to her ex-husband’s mistress and fathered by her ex-husband. During her relationship with Estes, she gave birth to two sons, both belonging to Estes.
Monroe addressed the jury in his opening statement, calling into question the timing of the allegations.