DA Won't Charge A Sapulpa Man With Tulsa Rapes
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa police apologized to a man they arrested earlier this week on two counts of kidnapping and rape.
They said DNA results cleared Daniel Stegeman of the crimes; and Friday afternoon, he walked out of jail understandably upset and not wanting to talk about his ordeal.
Stegeman’s boss of the past year, Troy Cox, said Stegeman told them all week that he was innocent.
"He was stunned and kept insisting, ‘It's not me, this is a mistake, I'm innocent,’ and that's the calls we got through the week, ‘I'm innocent, guys, they'll clear me, just have some faith,’" Cox said.
Tulsa police captain, Rick Helberg said they arrested Stegeman before the results came back because there was so much evidence.
Police said Stegeman's car matched the suspect’s, that he was in the vicinity of the rape, both victims separately picked him out of a photo lineup, items described by both victims being in the backseat were found in Stegeman's backseat, and one of the victims thought the rapist went by Danny.
Police said because of all that, coupled with how violent the attacks were, felt they had to act.
"Man, we're so sorry we put him in the situation we did, and we're going to apologize to him, but, for the good of the community, we were trying to do what was best," Helberg said.
Cox said everyone there is glad the truth came out, and that the DNA cleared him.
"How do you get your life back after something like this," Cox asked.
Police said they work as hard to clear a suspect as to convict them.
They are now interviewing a second suspect. Police said they have much more physical evidence that ties that suspect to the rapes, so they are much more confident in their case.
Because of the Tulsa County District Attorney’s decision to not file charges, News On 6 is no longer showing Stegeman’s booking photo.