Rape Case Involving Canadian County Deputy Now Under Tribal Jurisdiction

The case of a former Canadian County Deputy accused of raping an inmate during transport is changing hands because of tribal jurisdiction.

Wednesday, August 2nd 2023, 5:13 pm



The case of a former Canadian County Deputy accused of raping an inmate during transport is changing hands because of tribal jurisdiction.

Related: Former Canadian County Deputy Accused Of Second-Degree Rape

Wesley Hunter Jr. was arrested this week on one complaint of second-degree rape.

Since Hunter is Native American, the FBI will now be taking over the case. 

Hunter was transporting a female inmate from Bryan County when investigators say he stopped in a remote location in Marshall County. It also happens to be tribal land, putting this case squarely in the hands of tribal courts. 

"Really all it means is that a native nation court is going to have to handle it," said tribal Attorney RJ Harris. "We've seen it over and over again and the Supreme Court has been upholding it that the native nations are sovereign."  

It all boils down to one Supreme Court ruling, according to Harris. 

"The McGirt ruling basically held that there is no disestablishment of traditional native nation boundaries," he said.  

But the original investigation was under the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. 

"When the OSBI was requested, OSBI special agents were able to, during their investigation, locate where that assault occurred," said Hunter McKee with the OSBI.  

It happened near State Highway 70 and Antioch Road. Investigators say the, now former, deputy was taken into custody based on OSBI's findings. 

"They arrested that deputy and booked him into the Marshall County jail on second-degree rape charges," said McKee.  

Harris says the change in jurisdiction doesn't mean it all goes out the window. 

"The investigations that have occurred might be things that are able to be transferred over to the nation's policing department," he said.  

He also said there’s a bigger picture to keep in mind. 

"Whether it's native nation court or state court, I don't really think that's going to matter,” he said. “Justice is going to come out of this either way." 

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