Ex-Tulsa County Deputy Testifies In His Sexual Battery Trial
TULSA, Oklahoma - The sexual battery trial for a former Tulsa County deputy continued on Thursday. Jurors listened to more testimony -- including from Gerald Nuckolls himself -- and watched his 2014 taped interview with investigators.
Nuckolls is accused of sexual battery and indecent exposure while on duty for the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office. Prosecutors say Nuckolls was a predator hiding behind his uniform and his power, asking women he interacted with on patrol to do him sexual favors.
Two women have accused Nuckolls in alleged crimes that took place in March and in September 2014.
Jurors watched a taped interview with investigators in September 2014, where Nuckolls eventually admitted to the March incident, but denied the September allegations for more than an hour. He then confessed he’d had inappropriate contact with about six women while on duty and has had sex on duty before. He maintained that he’d never used his authority to do so.
Instead, he said in the video, it was his weakness for the opposite sex and girls who come on to him that put him in those positions.
"I've got a problem with attractive girls flirting with me,” Nuckolls told investigators.
Nuckolls took the stand about 4 p.m. and testified after a recess.
He testified he believes he broke polices as a deputy and said there was professional misconduct on the job, but he does not believe he broke the law. He also told jurors the state is out to get him and everyone who testified against him lied.
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A deputy who also responded to the March 9, 2014 call also testified. He said the woman was clearly intoxicated, but because he could tell she was going through a mental issue, he wanted to try and find her family. The deputy said he left the woman at the scene with Nuckolls for 15 to 30 minutes.
The woman testified Nuckolls exposed himself while she was alone with him and asked her to touch his privates. She said she did it because he was a man in uniform, and she was afraid he would take her to jail.
The deputy testified when he first heard about the accusations against Nuckolls, he didn't believe them and thought a "crazy woman" was just making it up. But he said the more he thought about it, the more red flags there were.
In his testimony, he also said he couldn’t find any family to leave the woman with, and when he got back to the scene, Nuckolls was smoking a cigarette.
He said Nuckolls asked him not to arrest the woman, but Nuckolls didn't explain why. The deputy thought that was odd because Nuckolls was known to make a lot of arrests. The deputy said he didn't have another choice but to arrest the woman for public intoxication.
He told jurors when he put the woman in handcuffs, she was very withdrawn. He said he has arrested hundreds of people and her demeanor stands out because it was so unusual.
The deputy told jurors he "felt very guilty for leaving her there with someone who victimized her." He said, "I was trying to protect her."
Jurors also spent an hour and a half watching Nuckolls' September 2014 interview with detectives. At that time, detectives were looking into claims that Nuckolls inappropriately touched a different woman and exposed himself to her.
In the video, Nuckolls spent an hour and 15 minutes denying the allegations.
He told the detectives he was called to a house in north Tulsa because of a 911 hang-up. He said it was "weird" and that the three people at the home acted suspicious and one woman claimed the other two were making meth. He said he searched the home without calling for backup or patting down the people there.
Nuckolls said he was "acting like a “d**k” and being very aggressive because the people at the home were acting suspicious.
"I did the cop thing where you act like you know everything," he told the detectives.
10/13/2015 Related Story: Jury Selection Underway For Former Tulsa Deputy Charged With Sexual Battery
When the detectives asked Nuckolls if he exposed himself at any point in the night, he said no. Then told them he did use the bathroom behind the garage, but no one saw anything.
The detectives told Nuckolls they knew what happened, that Nuckolls pulled down a woman's dress and exposed himself to her. Nuckolls said, "This is all false... they're all a bunch of meth heads."
Detectives told Nuckolls the woman knew what color of underwear he was wearing that night. Nuckolls said the woman might have made it up because he was rude to them.
After an hour and 15 minutes of questioning, Nuckolls opened up. He told detectives the woman told him she needed a "big, strong man" like him to come and protect her. He said the woman showed him her breasts, so he unzipped his pants. In the video he said he touched her and she touched him, but it was only a 30-second thing.
Over the course of the interview, Nuckolls admitted he had inappropriate contact with about six women while he was on duty.
"I've got a problem with attractive girls flirting with me,” he said. “I've got a weakness for them whether in uniform or not."
He told investigators he never once intimidated anyone, claiming if anything ever happened it was because women were flirting with him.
Nuckolls told investigators he would masturbate in his patrol car while on duty every two or three weeks. He also said he'd had sex on duty, but said he never used his authority to obtain it.
Detectives asked Nuckolls several times if there were any other instances of inappropriate behavior.
Near the end of the interview, he admitted to the March 2014 incident he's in, but his story differs from the alleged victim's. In that case, he claims the woman came on to him.
He told detectives he had just used the bathroom next to his patrol car and the woman started flirting with him. He said she was “trashy” and asked if she could see his privates. He said he showed her and he let her touch him. He said she offered him oral sex, but he declined it.
Both of the alleged victims testified on Wednesday, as well as Nuckolls' ex-fiancee. His ex-fiancee told the court she found out she was pregnant three weeks after Nuckolls was accused of the crimes, then she left him. She was granted a protective order on Monday for her and her young son after she said he had been harassing her before the trial.
According to her petition, Nuckolls made her fear for her safety.
"He has threatened to take his own life," she wrote in the document on Monday. "He has called 10 times in the last hour. I am testifying against him in his [sexual battery] case. He has military training and is a former deputy and I am scared he is going to try to hurt my son and me. He is wanting to see me and my child before he goes on trial. He is aware I am testifying and he keeps calling over and over again. He has never seen or been in contact with my son before.”