Dallas

New Details Emerge in YEA Networks CEO's Child Sex Assault Case

Man who runs the network that owns the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show is free on bond after being charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14; the man denies the allegations

George Laughlin
NBC 5/Dallas County Sheriff's Office

An unredacted arrest warrant affidavit obtained by NBC 5 details the child sexual abuse allegations against the man who runs the network that owns the nationally-syndicated radio program, The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show.

George Laughlin, the 51-year-old CEO of Las Colinas-based YEA Networks who has been called a “power player” by industry publications, surrendered at the Dallas County Jail on Tuesday after being charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child younger than 14 years old.

The charges came after a 17-year-old girl reported to police that Laughlin was the father of her childhood best friend and that he abused her at least three times between March 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010, when she was between the ages of 6 and 7.

According to his attorneys, Laughlin vigorously denies the "false allegation" that he continuously abused a young girl a decade ago, "unequivocally" passed a polygraph test and has been cooperating with detectives in their investigation.

Laughlin was freed Tuesday after surrendering to police and posting $10,000 bond.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, the first incident allegedly took place during an overnight stay at her friend's house where she, her friend, and her friend's parents, were all sleeping in the same room. According to the affidavit, Laughlin pushed a small bed next to his so that she was next to him. She said she woke up to find him pulling down her pants and penetrating her vagina with his fingers. She said she just laid on the bed and didn't remember anything else happening.

Serious allegations have surfaced against the man who runs the network that owns the nationally-syndicated Kidd Kraddick Morning Show.

The second reported incident allegedly took place in her friend's bedroom. She told police she was lying on the bed and that Laughlin was sitting at the edge of the bed with his daughter sitting in a chair only a few feet away. The child said Laughlin stood up and took off his shorts and that she "distinctly remembered the sound of the suspect's keys hitting the ground." She said Laughlin climbed on top of her, held her down and forced her to have sex. She said she asked him why he was doing what he was doing and that his reply was, because "she was 'never going to be better' than his daughter." She said it was painful and that she looked away to see her friend still sitting in the chair, staring at the floor and not saying anything. She told police she doesn't remember what made Laughlin stop or what brought the attack to an end.

The final incident reported by the child allegedly took place at Laughlin's lake house in Athens. The child said she was in the pantry with Laughlin and another man and that Laughlin had his left hand against her right shoulder and was holding her against the wall. She said he put his hand down her pants and penetrated her vagina by force and then told the other man, "if you hold them here, they don't move as much." She told police she didn't remember any other details before or after the alleged incident.

Detectives, according to the arrest warrant, said the alleged victim has been treated by a counselor for the past two years and during that time has remembered more details about the alleged attacks.

During the police investigation, the alleged victim worked with detectives to call Laughlin on the telephone. During the conversation he was asked about an event at her school, which he said he remembered. When she asked him about "touching her and sexually assaulting her," he stated, "this is bullshit" and hung up the phone.

On Sept. 5, Laughlin, with his attorney present, waived his rights and agreed to be interviewed at Dallas Police Headquarters. Detectives said that Laughlin "gave several conflicting and inconsistent statements" and that, while admitting to knowing the girl and becoming friends with her parents, denied that she ever spent the night at their home, because his children were too young to have overnight guests, or that he ever touched her or sexually assaulted her.

Detectives said Laughlin then "began denigrating the complainant and her family" and said he didn't know why she was accusing him of sexual assault. He later changed his answer and said it was because the girl had been accused of stealing a ring from his daughter and that because she was "jealous of not being able to hang out with his family anymore."

Detectives said Laughlin later changed another answer, saying he was unsure if the girl ever spent the night in his home, then he changed it again to say he was sure she hadn't before finally settling again on being unsure. He then said the girl must have been confused and named the girl's own grandfather as her attacker.

Detectives said interviews with Laughlin's wife and daughter appeared to indicate they had been coached, since they had roughly the same answer to every question and would only say that they, "didn't have any memory of that" when asked about any particular detail of an event.

Laughlin's attorneys said the child in question was not involved with the Kidd's Kids foundation, a nonprofit founded by the late Kidd Kraddick whose mission it was "to provide hope and happiness by creating beautiful memories for families of children with life-altering or life-threatening conditions."

NBC 5 contacted the Kidd's Kids Foundation and YEA Networks for comment Tuesday night, but did not immediately hear back. On Wednesday, Kidd's Kids released the following statement:

Laughlin previously served on the board of the foundation and had a close friendship with Kraddick until the beloved DJ's death in 2013.

Kraddick's co-host, Kellie Rasberry, who now leads the syndicated show, issued the following statement.

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