23 October 2007

Oklahoma Justice

A lawsuit accuses Custer County, Okla. Sheriff Mike Burgess of operating a sex-slave ring and threatening to send female jail inmates to prison unless they complied with his sexual demands.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday against Burgess on behalf of 12 women who either were jail prisoners or are participants in the county's drug court program.

Burgess had sex with one such woman more than 30 times after telling her that "he got her into the Drug Court program and if she did not provide the required sexual favors, he would get her out," the lawsuit alleges.

As sheriff and as a member of the drug court, Burgess had the power to carry out that alleged threat, the lawsuit claims. . . .

This is the second time such allegations have been made against an Oklahoma sheriff in the last three years.

In November 2003, a federal grand jury indicted then-Latimer County Sheriff Melvin Holly on similar allegations. He eventually was sentenced to 25 years in prison. A slew of lawsuits ensued, resulting in judgments against the county.

From here via Thinking Outside The Cage.

Another abuse of power in another backward state's criminal justice system. Also, how did a Sheriff get to be a member of a court?

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