LeFlore County Dispatcher Re-Hired After Rape Charges Dismissed; Woman Says Justice System Failed Her

POTEAU OKLA. (KFSM) — A LeFlore County dispatcher who was accused of rape and fired from his job was offered his position back after no charges were filed against him.

Since no charges were filed and he was not charged with a crime we are not posting his name here.

The woman who filed the report told investigators she was raped by the male dispatcher at his home during a housewarming party.

The woman, who was also a LeFlore County dispatcher at the time, has since resigned from her position. Through her family, she told 5NEWS she moved out of state due to concerns for her safety.

In July 2018, the woman said she was attending a party at the male dispatcher's home and was intoxicated.

A police report states the male dispatcher was also intoxicated.

The woman told investigators she passed out in a bedroom on a bed and woke up to the accused on top of her. She told investigators in the report that she was being raped when the dispatcher's wife came into the room and started yelling at her husband.

In the initial report, the male dispatcher told investigators he was highly intoxicated at the party. He told investigators that he believed the two had talked before about having sex but could not recall what was said.

The male dispatcher was fired from his job as a LeFlore County Sheriff's dispatcher and was arrested by the LeFlore County Sheriff's department.

"It makes no difference to me who it is. If knowledge of a crime has potentially been committed we are going to investigate it," said Leflore County Sheriff Rob Seale.

Seale said his department turned over the second-degree rape investigation to the LeFlore County District Attorney's office. It would then be that department's decision on whether to file criminal charges.

The LeFlore County district attorney wanted an outside agency to handle the investigation and turned it over to the Sequoyah County district attorney to make the decision.

The Sequoyah County District Attorney's office sent a letter stating there was not sufficient evidence to prove without a doubt that a crime had been committed, and they were not going to pursue charges.

"It's not fair to penalize him because of those criminal charges being dropped. I had to do what was best for the county and the citizens of the county and have someone reliable in Dispatch," Seale said.

Seale offered the male dispatcher his job back, and once paperwork is complete, he will start work again, the Sheriff said.

The woman's family said they are outraged that no criminal charges were filed and the dispatcher will be able to return to work.

"The fact that she might potentially see him and knowing he's never going to go to jail scared her so bad. She packed her bags and left the state because the justice system failed her," said her sister Bethany Turner.

"If nothing else, he should not get his job back, because my daughter had to quit hers in order to feel safe," said the woman's mother, Becky Turner. "My daughter had to quit her job inside of the Sheriff's Department in order to feel safe. There's nothing about that that is right."

The woman released a statement as well that she said she wanted to share. In part, it says:

"I worked as an emergency dispatcher for almost 9 years. Two of the nine were spent at the LeFlore County Sheriff's Department. I am a compassionate person and have always done everything in my power to help the citizens I serve. That is what we do. I may not have taken an official oath like the deputies and officers I work alongside, but I took a personal oath to always do what is just and what was right and protect those that I am called to help. On July 7, 2018, I became a victim, and I ended up being on the other side this time. I called for help because I was victimized by someone I trusted and by someone I thought who was a friend, someone who used to sit next to me and answer those same 911 calls."

5NEWS tried to reach out to the male dispatcher for comment but has not heard back as of yet.

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