Meet Bethany Loerke, the brave young woman who was the focus of the sensational trial of Dr James Loerke in 2003. Because she was underage at the time, the court refused to name her publicly but she has come forward now to tell her story. She is no longer simply “the girl” who was molested by her stepfather.
Bethany’s story of abuse begins with her own parents as a baby. She was kept in such squalid conditions in a Tulsa trailer park that Child Protective Services in Oklahoma were called to her home when she was just two years old.
Bethany was then placed in foster care at Dr Loerke’s home along with her baby sister who is named Becka Loerke (now 18-years old). James and Beth Loerke eventually adopted Bethany and Becka when she was five years old, and so began her life as a molestation victim. James Loerke repeatedly raped Bethany countless times until she was eleven years old.
When she finally told Beth Loerke what her husband was doing, she notified the police and moved out of the house with all of the couple’s children. Later that year a media circus began surrounding the trial of Dr. Loerke. Bethany Loerke was just eleven years old, and that experience combined with the severe emotional damage he inflicted on her caused her problems as a teenager.
Biography: Bethany Loerke was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is now now a vibrant woman of 20-years old. She is planning to attend medical school in the fall so that she can obtain a degree in nursing and help care for other people. She currently works as a counter girl at a Starbucks in Tulsa.
As a consequence of the abuse, Miss Loerke moved from school to school, got in fights with classmates, and otherwise acted out especially toward men in authority like teachers and school principals. She finally graduated from Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences in 2010 but it was a rough road.
Bethany just finished a book called “Justice Bear,” which is an attempt to help other abuse victims like her endure the anguish. She is trying to help both those who are currently in these situations and those who are trying to understand after they are over.
As an author, Bethany Loerke has finally gone public, moving from “the girl” at the center of a famous trial to a real person who cares about the world around her. We should all be proud of Bethany for her contribution to abuse victims nationwide.