New Special Victims Unit A Success, Tulsa DA's Office Says
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa County District Attorney's office created a new Special Victims Unit to focus on domestic and sexual assault victims.
By devoting a team just to these cases, the process is faster, it's more sensitive to victims and so far, it's highly successful.
Daniel Kelley gets 20 years in prison for throwing a woman down a flight of stairs and sexually assaulting her with a beer bottle.. the resulting injuries put her in a wheelchair.
Prince Jackson got life plus 44 years for beating up a homeless woman so badly he put her in a coma for days and raping her.
Brian Karona got 155 years in prison for kidnapping a woman and raping her while her child was in the bed with her.
All these cases and more are the work of the newly formed SVU. They are specialists in handling victims who are brutalized and traumatized in ways that are unique to sex crimes and domestic violence.
"We have prosecutors and advocates whose only job is to focus on only these cases and only these cases," said Ben Fu, Assistant Tulsa County District Attorney.
The four prosecutors and two advocates try to make the court process easier because they say these victims are often re-victimized by the system. They endure rape exams and are often accused of wrongdoing during trials.
Fu said, "Some of them are transient, some are runaway teenagers, some are drug addicts, but they are still victims and still part of our community we need to serve."
The team also got life plus 30 years for Terrell Littlejohn. He broke into a couple's home, forced the husband into a closet and sexually assaulted the wife.
They also got six years for Kyle Courtney who assaulted a woman too intoxicated to consent, a case that almost fell through the cracks until this team got on it.
"It's definitely putting a priority on these types of cases," Fu said.
The number one thing the special victims unit wants these victims to know is they will be heard, they will be taken seriously and their cases will be prosecuted.