October 13, 2009
(AP) Prosecutors are investigating claims that the former head chef and chief groundskeeper at the Oklahoma governor’s mansion raped three female prison inmates assigned to work on the mansion’s grounds.
Neither man has been charged, but the Department of Central Services fired both of them Sept. 29 for violating departmental policies after a three-month Department of Corrections investigation.
The allegations raise questions about security at the chief executive’s residence and oversight of a program meant in part to reward good inmate behavior by allowing them leave prison for the day and work off-site.
The state Department of Corrections believes the former state workers who supervised the inmates at the governor’s mansion committed sexual battery, forcible sodomy and rape against the Hillside Community Corrections Center inmates, Department of Corrections spokesman Jerry Massie said Monday. The department recently turned its findings over to Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater’s office.
Assistant District Attorney Scott Rowland said Monday that prosecutors met with Department of Corrections investigators for two hours Friday and that the investigation is ongoing.
According to records obtained by The Associated Press through a state open records request, the fired workers are Russell Humphries, the former executive chef at the mansion, and Anthony Bobelu, the former groundskeeper supervisor.
Neither Humphries nor Bobelu has been charged, and neither responded to repeated phone messages seeking comment. No one answered the door Monday at Bobelu’s residence, and Humphries’ current address could not immediately be determined. Neither prosecutors nor Janet Roloff, an Edmond attorney for one of the women, knew if either man had an attorney. …
Read more at the original source, cbsnews.com.
Don’t read the comments posted after the story unless you want to get really pissed off.
Spread the word. This is news, and this is important for our state to acknowledge. I think of rape as a symptom of a social illness. When it’s reported, when it’s acknowledged/explored/confronted as a crime with a victim and a criminal, only then can we begin to look behind the event at the underlying social structure that supports/perpetuates rape. I know there are people out there who will read this news story and laugh at it and not take it seriously, who will even say that there’s no one out there who’s “pro-rape,” so why give the story attention. “We are all complicit” is my message to everyone who reads. All of us. We are all a part of the problem(s). If one person is not free, we are all enslaved. If one person is sexually abused, we all are.
Yours in interconnectedness and solidarity,