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Jailer arrested in alleged rape of jail inmate


SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) -- A Pottawatomie County jailer has been arrested in the alleged rape of a female county jail inmate.

Three co-workers on Thursday arrested Forrest Gearhardt.

Prosecutors charged the 21-year-old with first-degree rape by force and fear, oral sodomy and sexual battery, court records showed.

Prosecutors accuse him of using force and violence to have sexual intercourse with a 28-year-old female inmate against her will and consent.

Sheriff Weldon Cantrell said the warrant for Gearhardt's arrest and subsequent charges against him stem from a preliminary investigation that began late Monday night when a detective was notified of the allegations, an incident report states.

The ex-inmate gave Detective Tracy Warkentien a statement on Tuesday regarding events that reportedly occurred Sept. 3 while she was incarcerated at the Pottawatomie County jail.

Cantrell said Gearhardt will be treated as anyone else facing the same charges and prosecuted to the maximum of the law.

"That kind of activity will not be tolerated by the sheriff or sheriff's office, by anyone," Cantrell said.

Gearhardt was being held late Thursday afternoon in the Shawnee City Jail on a $10,000 bond.

Warkentien said the investigation would be ongoing.

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