Ex-Okla. sheriff accused of coercing sex convicted of 13 felonies, acquitted of 23 others

A former Oklahomasheriff was convicted of second-degree rape and bribery Saturday in a case that accused him of coercing sex from female inmates and drug court defendants.

A Major County jury convicted former Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess on 13 felonies, including five counts of second-degree rape and three counts of bribery by a public official. He was acquitted of 23 other felony counts that included second-degree rape, forcible sodomy and rape by instrumentation. Continue reading

Deliberations begin in trial of Oklahoma sheriff accused of coercing sex from female inmates

Okla. (AP) — Jury deliberations began Friday in the trial of a former sheriff accused of using his power over inmates and drug court defendants to coerce them into having sex with him.

Former Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess has pleaded not guilty to 36 charges of rape, rape by instrumentation, kidnapping, sexual battery and oral sodomy. His attorney has said the accusers are either lying or the sex was consensual. Continue reading

Former Oklahoma Corrections Officer Pleads Guilty To Federal Civil Rights Charge


WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, Grace Chung Becker, and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Sheldon J. Sperling, announced today that Jarrod Anthony Yates, a former Sequoyah County, Okla., corrections officer, pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of an arrestee.



On June 25, 2006, at the Sequoyah County Jail in Sallisaw, Okla., Yates punched, kneed and stomped an arrestee on his head and face, which caused serious injuries, including a fractured orbital socket and severe lacerations that required stitches.



Yates faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. His sentencing hearing is pending.



The guilty plea resulted from an investigation by the Oklahoma City Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Horn, and Trial Attorneys Roy Conn and Michael Khoury from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division

source: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=prnw.20081002.DC36796&show_article=1

Sheriff demanded sex, inmates tell court

ARAPAHO, Oklahoma (AP) — Former female inmates of the Custer County jail testified Wednesday that ex-Sheriff Mike Burgess demanded sex from them in exchange for his help in getting them into a drug court rehabilitation program.

Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess faced 35 felony counts, most of them sexual offenses.

Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess faced 35 felony counts, most of them sexual offenses.

The inmates testified on the second day of a preliminary hearing that will determine whether Burgess is held over for trial on 35 felony charges that accuse him of rape and other inappropriate sexual behavior with female inmates.

One former inmate testified that Burgess ordered her to perform sexual acts on him in his office, and also picked her up at her home, drove her to a remote location and demanded sex.

Another woman testified that Burgess visited her at motel rooms and demanded sex. “I just tried to black out the whole thing. It was bad,” the woman said.

CNN and The Associated Press typically do not identify victims of sexual assault.

Among the felony charges Burgess is facing are 14 counts of second-degree rape, seven counts of forcible oral sodomy and five counts of bribery by a public official.

His attorneys maintain he is innocent. Burgess resigned as sheriff in April from the position he had held since 1994.

On Tuesday, a former deputy testified that Burgess groped her and grabbed her buttocks several times while she was employed at the sheriff’s office.

Jennifer Tyler, now a deputy in the state of Washington, testified that when she was being fitted for a uniform the sheriff put his hand down the back of the trousers and touched her waistline and buttocks.

Evidence against Burgess surfaced in a federal court lawsuit filed on behalf of 12 former jail inmates that alleged sheriff’s employees had them engage in wet T-shirt contests and offered cigarettes to women who would flash their breasts.

The lawsuit filed last year claims Burgess told one drug court participant he would have her sent to prison if she didn’t comply with his sexual demands.

Former jailer pleads innocent to beating prisoner

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ A former Sequoyah County jailer will stand trial in June after being indicted on a federal charge accusing him of beating a prisoner.
U.S. Attorney Sheldon J. Sperling says 24-year-old Jarrod Anthony Yates pleaded innocent Wednesday on a charge of deprivation of rights under color of law. He was released on bond.
Sperling says Yates allegedly assaulted an inmate while he was working at the Sequoyah County Jail.
Sheriff Johnny Philpott asked federal authorities to investigate after 39-year-old Donald Gene Allen suffered facial injuries in June 2006 that were severe enough to require surgery.
Yates’ trial has been set for June 2.

US sheriff used jailed women as sex slaves

ARAPAHO (OKLAHOMA): Authorities have charged a western Oklahoma sheriff with coercing and bribing female inmates so he could use them in a sex-slave operation run out of his jail.

Custer County sheriff Mike Burgess resigned on Thursday just as state prosecutors filed 35 felony charges against him, including 14 counts of second-degree rape, seven counts of forcible oral sodomy and five counts of bribery by a public official. Burgess, the top officer in the county since 1994, appeared in court on Wednesday and was released after posting $50,000 bail.

“We are stunned,” Undersheriff Kenneth Tidwell said Thursday.

Attorney Steve Huddleston said that he has not had a chance to review all the allegations against his client, but that “Mr Burgess is anxious to go to court and clear his name.”

Among other things, Burgess is accused of having sex with a female drug court participant who was in his custody. The crimes occurred between October 2005 and April 2007. A lawsuit filed in October claims Burgess told one drug court participant he would have her sent to prison if she didn’t comply with his sexual demands.

The lawsuit, filed by 12 former inmates, alleges the sheriff’s employees had them engage in wet T-shirt contests and offered cigarettes to those who would flash their breasts. One prisoner alleged she became a jail trusty with more freedom after agreeing to perform a sex act on Burgess, but lost that status when she later refused.

Burgess also faces two counts each of sexual battery, rape and subornation of perjury, and one count each of engaging in criminal offenses, indecent exposure and kidnapping. He could be sentenced to 467 years in prison if convicted on all counts, special prosecutor James Boring said, though a lesser sentence would be more likely.

No one else from the sheriff’s department appears to be implicated, undersheriff KennethTidwell said.

Sheriff fires 2 jailers Excessive force led to dismissal

Two Carter County Detention Center jailers lost their jobs Friday morning following an investigation into allegations of an excessive force incident Wednesday night at the detention center.

Sheriff Ken Grace said the investigation indicated “improper conduct” in dealing with an inmate. Excessive force resulted in the inmate sustaining a minor injury that required stitches. Grace said the termination was a “personnel issue” and the names of the two male jailers were not released.

However, Grace did discuss his decision to fire both men.

“The investigation indicated their conduct was, at the least, unprofessional and improper. I will not tolerate that kind of behavior and they have been dismissed,” Grace said.

The loss of employment may not be the only thing the two jailers will face. Grace said the results of the investigation have been turned over to Carter County District Attorney Craig Ladd for the consideration of possible charges.

Late Friday, Ladd confirmed he had received the initial reports and was awaiting additional information concerning the incident. The district attorney said he anticipated receiving the requested additional information early this week and would then make a decision on whether to file charges against the pair.

source: http://www.ardmoreite.com/stories/041308/news_51497.shtml


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