Rader Center Resident Accused Of Sexual Assault

Tuesday, October 3rd 2006, 10:35 am
By: News On 6

Allegations of a sexual assault inside a juvenile inmate's cell at the L.E. Rader Center in Sand Springs. Police were called to the Rader Center at about 2:15 AM Tuesday, to talk with an employee who said she'd been pulled into a cell and assaulted by a 14 year-old resident.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler says Sand Springs Police say Rader Center staff noticed the 56-year-old woman was missing and after searching the facility, found her locked in a 14 year-old inmate's cell. She'd been there nearly three hours.

"Rader holds the bad of the bad. You know it's the maximum security. It's where we put the kids who are the most violent." Assistant Sand Springs Police Chief Mike Carter says it's not unusual for Sand Springs Police to respond to violent attacks at the L.E. Rader Center.

A spokesperson for the state Office of Juvenile Affairs says so far in 2006, Rader employees have been assaulted 53 times by inmates, a 38-percent increase over the last two years.

Staffers are not allowed to carry weapons, so when a 14 year-old inmate called out for help late Monday night, the worker was caught off-guard. "A 56 year-old female staff member opened the door to investigate and see what was wrong with the inmate and she was pulled inside and assaulted." Carter says the door locked behind the employee and over the next three hours, the suspect sexually assaulted her and bit her several times.

"At some point she was missed. And they initiated a search of the facility and she was located in that cell." Chief Carter says Sand Springs Police respond to incidents at the Rader Center about once a week. He says just because they're juveniles, don't let their ages fool you."

When they commit violent acts it's just as violent. It's just as heinous. And the results are the same." Carter says Sand Springs Police devotes one officer to investigate assaults at the state-run facility. The city foots the bill.

He says he has a lot of respect for the staffers who choose to work there, with violent offenders who commit very adult crimes. "I think it's naive to think that the staff of Rader is going to be able to magically put these kids in there and they're going to cease all violent behavior."

The state Office of Juvenile Affairs is investigating the incident, including why it took so long for the victim's co-workers to figure out she was missing. Authorities could not say what originally landed the juvenile suspect in Rader.

The Tulsa County District Attorney will determine what charges will be filed.

The victim was treated at a Tulsa hospital and released.