OHP Trooper Accused Of Sex Crimes Bonds Out Of Jail
Monday, September 15th 2014, 5:23 pm
By: News 9
Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) troopers arrested one of their own Monday, on complaints of kidnapping and sexual assault.
Trooper Eric Roberts was arrested at his home this morning and spent about five hours in the Creek County jail before posting bond Monday afternoon.
Creek County District Attorney Max Cook is still reviewing the case and has not yet filed any charges against Roberts, but his badge, gun and his commission have all been taken away.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol took those actions earlier this summer, when the allegations first came to light.
"This particular matter sickens us, as an agency," said Col. Ricky Adams, Chief of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
At a news conference Monday at OHP Headquarters, Chief Adams explained that this all started with a single phone call on July 23. A woman claimed that Trooper Roberts had sexually assaulted her during a traffic stop.
Adams declined to go into details of the complaint, but according to court documents, Roberts stopped the woman at the Town West Shopping Center in Sapulpa, ordered her to get into his cruiser, drove her to a secluded spot, and forced her to perform sex acts.
"We took that call and processed it," said Col. Adams, "and then, the following day, our investigators ... retrieved evidence from a location where we believe a possible assault may have occurred."
Adams said he personally went to Roberts home that night of July 24, took Roberts' badge and informed him that he was being suspended.
As the investigation into Roberts progressed, Adams said they discovered several more questionable traffic stops, and two more alleged victims.
"In all these stops," Adams stated, "Trooper Roberts turned off his camera and his mic during the course of the traffic stop, which was something of a very serious concern to us."
In the end, Adams says, the evidence, including DNA evidence from the original scene and from Roberts' patrol car, was strong enough to recommend criminal charges and to place Roberts under arrest.
9/15/2014 Related Story: OHP Trooper Arrested For Kidnapping, Sexual Assault
"Eric Roberts is innocent of any of these criminal allegations," said Gary James, Robert's attorney.
High-profile Oklahoma City defense attorney Gary James points out, prior to the complaint against his client, the alleged victim already had 11 warrants out for her arrest, including one for making false allegations of rape.
OHP investigators did not arrest the alleged victim on those outstanding warrants after her forensic interview, and Chief Adams could explain why.
"I was a bit angered that the Oklahoma Highway Patrol would arrest a trooper that has yet to be charged with any crime," said James, "but does not arrest a person who has been charged at least 11 times."
James said the alleged victim has already filed a civil suit against Roberts, but OHP's Adams says that has no bearing on their investigation.
"If he's convicted," said Col. Adams, "it represents the ultimate betrayal of a man's oath – the oath to his state, to his agency, to his family ... his oath to support and defend, and protect the public."
Adams said the agency is moving forward with its own procedures to terminate Roberts' employment. In the meantime, he remains suspended with pay.
Roberts is out of jail on a $66,000 bond.