FORT SILL, Okla. - A high-ranking military officer who used to be stationed at Fort Sill in Lawton is facing accusations of rape from his time there.
The alleged sexual assaults took place in August of 2016 involving a civilian employee at the post.
According to court documents, the alleged victim and the suspect had been in a previous dating relationship. After the relationship ended, court documents claim she “was sexually assaulted on numerous occasions.”
“A knife was used… on one occasion and, on another occasion, the respondent struck the petitioner’s jaw causing injury,” the report states.
The alleged victim’s attorney said what is so shocking is the suspect was supposed to be prosecuting the very types of crimes.
“You have a young woman who is accusing a sex crimes prosecutor of rape,” said Robert Don Gifford, the victim's attorney.
In court documents, the suspect is identified as a “Judge Advocate officer in the United States Army with the rank of Captain.”
“He was selected to serve as one of twenty-four (24) Special Victims Prosecutors to lead criminal prosecutions of sexual assault, family violence and child abuse throughout the Army, because of his expertise in military criminal law. The Respondent has since been removed from this position,” the report states.
“These are hand-picked special victim prosecutors who are getting accused of sex crimes. And, my understanding is there’s another one too,” Gifford said.
The alleged victim filed a victim’s protective order against the suspect but dropped it about a month later after a military protective order was in place.
But, Gifford said the suspect is trying to victimize his client again, coming after attorney fees.
“He has gone after her to try to get attorney’s fees from a dismissed protective order when the military has flagged him, basically has put a protective order on him and transferred him to another jurisdiction immediately,” Gifford said.
But, the victim and her attorney are fighting back, using a little known Anti-SLAPP statute that’s been on the books in Oklahoma since 2014.
SLAPP stands for 'Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation,' which are lawsuits or claims filed in response to, or in retaliation for, citizen communication with government entities and employees.
The law is designed to protect someone over conduct involving constitutional rights, like free speech and the right to petition.
“Someone has a right to seek a legal remedy and, so, when she sought the petition, sought a protective order, you know, she has a right to protect herself,” Gifford said.
A Comanche County court is expected to rule in the next 60 days whether the alleged victim will have to pay the attorney fees.
In the suspect’s petition seeking the fees, he said the VPO was filed frivolously and done only to gain an advantage in potential action taken by the US Army.
The suspect has not been charged with any crime at this point in time.
The military has been in charge of the investigation.
His attorney said his client is looking forward to all the facts surrounding the allegations being made public and he is confident, when that happens, it will show the allegations are inaccurate.