Source: Curtis Killman/Tulsa World Former Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz admitted in Tulsa federal court Wednesday that policies on housing juvenile girls at the Tulsa Jail were violated multiple times in 2010 during a time when a woman claims she was repeatedly sexually assaulted while detained there as a juvenile.
Glanz, along with Tulsa County, is a defendant in a 2011 lawsuit filed by the woman. His admissions were made during questioning by an attorney for the now 23-year-old woman whose civil rights trial is underway this week.
Glanz, sometimes grudgingly and with qualifications, conceded that Tulsa Jail policies were violated specifically when:
- Juvenile females were not under direct supervision.
- Prisoners of the opposite sex were housed in close proximity to each other in the medical unit, where the plaintiff was held.
- Detention officers lacked training to work with juvenile detainees.
- Detention officers were reported to have unnecessary contact with juveniles, such as hugging.
“You violated your own policy” by not providing specialized training for detention officers who worked around juveniles? Dan Smolen, an attorney for the woman, asked Glanz.
“For some of the detention officers, yes, sir,” Glanz replied.
Glanz was Tulsa County sheriff until he retired Nov. 1.
Asked why he retired, Glanz replied, “I was indicted by a grand jury.”
A grand jury indicted Glanz on Sept. 30 on a charge of refusal to perform his official duty and willful violation of a law, the latter charge dealing with acceptance of a vehicle stipend while also using a county vehicle. Both offenses are misdemeanors.
“To defend myself against those allegations would be very expensive,” Glanz continued. “I only had 14 months on my term, so I decided to go ahead and retire.”
Glanz said he was not involved in the investigation of the woman’s claims.
Smolen asked Glanz to acknowledge that the woman’s claims that she was sexually assaulted by a detention officer were found to be true, which the former sheriff initially disputed.
“I don’t know that he ever sexually assaulted your client,” Glanz said of the detention officer.
Smolen then displayed Glanz’s earlier deposition testimony, during which he was asked whether charges were expected to be filed against the detention officer.
“That is correct,” Glanz replied at the time.
Glanz’s testimony came on the fourth day in the trial of a lawsuit filed on behalf of the then-teenager who alleges that she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by then-Detention Officer Seth Bowers in the Tulsa Jail’s medical unit from January through April 2010.
The plaintiff, who is not being named by the Tulsa World, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Tulsa on Dec. 23, 2011, naming Glanz and Bowers as defendants.
Bowers was later dismissed as a defendant in the civil case, and the Tulsa County district attorney declined to file criminal charges against him in connection with the allegations.
After the lunch break Wednesday, Glanz continued to qualify his answers regarding the sexual assault allegations.
“I don’t know that she was sexually assaulted,” Glanz said. “She may have been touched inappropriately, but other than that.”
Evidence presented to the jury thus far indicates that the woman told a Sheriff’s Office investigator that Bowers initially hugged her during visits to her cell and then progressed to touching her breasts and buttocks and once swiped a hand past her vaginal area.
She claimed Bowers once displayed his erect penis to her and asked her to “suck it,” a request she said she denied.
In a deposition following the filing of the lawsuit, the woman claims that she had oral sex with Bowers about 10 times and sexual intercourse with him about five times.
In other testimony Wednesday, jurors heard from Interim Tulsa County Sheriff Michelle Robinette.
After some prodding by Smolen, Robinette agreed that Bowers did not have the proper training that Tulsa Jail policy required for detention officers who worked with juveniles.
Robinette also explained that detention officers who worked in the medical unit, where juvenile females are held, were not required to be trained in the handling of female juveniles because the jail rarely held them.
She said, though, that there have at times been as many as six female juveniles in the medical unit at the same time.
Also, the jury watched a video deposition taken in 2012 of a trusty who was at the jail at the same time as the plaintiff.
Christopher Blunt said that when he helped Bowers during detainee mealtime, the detention officer would sometimes open the plaintiff’s cell door and enter.
Bowers would sometimes spend up to 15 minutes with the plaintiff after he picked up her meal tray, Blunt said, adding that he sometimes left the pair alone.
Blunt said the girl would flirt with him and sometimes gave him written notes that made references to Bowers. Blunt said one note indicated that he “is on me.”
Asked what he took the note to mean, Blunt replied, “Like he’s pushing up on her or flirting with her.”
Testimony is expected to continue through Thursday, with a goal of concluding Friday.
Attorneys for the woman said they expect to call three more witnesses, with one of them the plaintiff.
The defense said it intends to call as many as eight witnesses.