Former OHP Trooper To Stand Trial For Rape
SAPULPA, Oklahoma - A Creek County judge ruled there is enough evidence for a former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper to stand trial for assaulting or behaving inappropriately toward three women during traffic stops.
The judge ruled Eric Roberts, 42, will stand trial on three counts and dismissed two others.
Prosecutors charged Roberts with 10 felonies and four misdemeanors in three separate cases, ranging from second-degree rape and sexual battery to charges alleging that requests he made during the traffic stops amounted to a request for a bribe.
The allegations came to light in August when a woman filed a federal lawsuit alleging Roberts raped her following a traffic stop. Two more women later came forward with similar allegations.
Roberts was suspended in July and resigned in September.
In his preliminary hearing Friday, June 5, 2015, a woman testified about Roberts pulling her and her friend over.
He told her he smelled pot when he opened her car door, she testified, and admitted she had been smoking it and didn't have a driver license.
She told the court she admitted to him that she had warrants out for her arrest. She said she cried and told him she had recently gotten out of jail, lost her home, lost her child to DHS and her boyfriend was locked up. She says after her story, the trooper said to her, "You have won me over about not taking me to jail, now how are you going to convince me?" She says she believed that meant he would do something for her, but she would have to do something for him.
The woman testified he told her to tell her passenger to leave and for her to get in the vehicle with him. She testified she never felt like she could say no. She said she was never handcuffed, the doors were not locked.
She said he drove her to a convenience store and came out with two bottles of water then drove her to an area near railroad tracks and sexually assaulted her. She testified, "He had sex with me. He didn't ask me if he could. He told me to turn around and did what he wanted to do, which was have sex."
She admitted she still has active warrants and there has been a lot of discussion about whether to arrest her when she is finished today.
The judge ruled Roberts will stand trial for second-degree rape, procuring indecent exposure and an officer inducing a bribe. There is also a misdemeanor charge of embezzlement.
The judge dismissed charges of rape by instrumentation and sexual battery. Roberts will remain on his current bond. He is still facing charges in three other cases that will be set in the future.
Roberts will have a district court arraignment for Friday's case, June 30, at 10 a.m.
His preliminary hearing for the next case is set for July 13, at 9:30 a.m.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.