Former OHP Trooper Pleads Guilty To 3 Counts In Sexual Assault Case
SAPULPA, Oklahoma - A former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper is headed to prison for more than eight years after pleading guilty to two felonies and a misdemeanor.
The prison sentence is the result of several women accusing Eric Roberts of sexually assaulting them in his patrol vehicle.
The former OHP trooper didn't say anything as Creek County deputies escorted him from the courthouse Tuesday.
Aside from speaking to the judge, he didn't have much to say in the courthouse either - but his father, Sonny Roberts, did.
"I don't believe they treated him right,” he said.
Sonny Roberts said it's hard seeing his son being taken away in cuffs, but it's a decision he said the family had to make.
"It just drug on and drug on. We didn't have the money to go to trial, just faced with the results," he said.
Sonny went on to suggest that when other officers participate in similar lewd actives, it's swept under the rug.
"Yeah, he got caught doing something that many officers have done. I think the woman that accused him were just after money, notoriety or whatever," he said.
Roberts’ attorney said Roberts admitted having sexual encounters with the women but said it was consensual.
He did, however, plead guilty to two felonies - sexual battery and soliciting an act of lewdness - and one embezzlement misdemeanor for using accepting bribes to not write tickets.
Charges of forcible sodomy and rape by instrumentation were dismissed.
Roberts’ attorney, Gary James said, "Eric has always maintained his innocence when it comes to rape, rape by instrument, sodomy, forcible sodomy, and the state did dismiss those."
Because those were dismissed, Roberts won't have to register as a sex offender.
James said, "The state and the district attorney and I worked really hard to hammer this out on what's good for everybody - the public, the ladies involved, Mr. Roberts."
Roberts could get out of jail in less than three years if he gets paroled.
The Creek County District Attorney said he was reluctant to talk since Roberts can still appeal, but he did say he’s pleased with the resolution.
Roberts was charged after a woman accused him of raping her during a traffic stop in west Tulsa on July 22, 2014. She testified at a preliminary hearing that Roberts pulled her over then learned she had no driver's license and had outstanding warrants for her arrest.
At that point, the woman said Roberts told her he wanted her to convince him not to take her to jail then started talking about sex.
The woman said Roberts then drove her to a secluded area where he sexually assaulted her. She said that although she wasn't handcuffed, she felt she had no choice in the alleged assault.
Two other women came forward with complaints that Roberts had also behaved inappropriately toward them during traffic stops.
There is still a civil suit against Roberts.