OSBI Investigating Ottawa County Jail

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) is investigating claims of “official misconduct” by jailers at the Ottawa County jail in far northeastern Oklahoma.

The Tulsa World published a story late this evening that quotes OSBI spokesperson Jessica Brown:

Two Ottawa County jailers are the subject of a state investigation, according to an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman.

Jessica Brown, agency spokeswoman, said the investigation was opened on Friday at the request of Ottawa County Sheriff Terry Durborow.

The allegations involved are termed “official misconduct,” Brown said.

The term “official misconduct” does not relate to any specific type of conduct, but the term is generally used to describe conduct while employed.  In other words, the OSBI is likely investigating the conduct of two jailers for something that occurred at the Ottawa County Jail located in Miami, Oklahoma.  The names of the jailers are being withheld.

The list of potential conduct being investigated could encompass a wide range of conduct, but most likely concerns theft of inmate property, sexual assault or rape of female inmates, or allegations of excessive force.

The Ottawa County Jail is located approximately 36 miles from the Delaware County Jail which recently settled civil rights claims by several women who accused the jailers of requiring them to perform sex acts at the jail.  Under Oklahoma law, an inmate is not capable of consenting to any sexual act, regardless of whether force was used.  Such conduct is defined by statute as “rape”:

Where the victim is under the legal custody or supervision of a state agency, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision and engages in sexual intercourse with a state, county, municipal or political subdivision employee or an employee of a contractor of the state, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision that exercises authority over the victim.

See 21 O.S. Sec. 1111(A)(7).

If you have questions about sexual assault within a jail facility, contact the personal injury attorneys at Bryan & Terrill Law, (918) 935-2777.