Former trooper accused of sex crimes asking for charges to be dismissed

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SAPULPA, Okla. – A former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper accused of sex crimes is trying to get several of those charges dismissed.

Eric Roberts’ attorney filed a motion in Creek County on Tuesday to dismiss eight of the 12 charges against him.

The 43-year-old is accused of second-degree rape, rape by instrumentation, sexual battery, forcible sodomy and procuring indecent exposure.

OHP investigators have said there were three victims and three other questionable traffic stops.

Investigators claim the 16-year veteran trooper allegedly pulled the women over in Creek County with the intent to sexually assault them.

During all of those stops, officials say Roberts turned off his camera and microphone.

Roberts’ attorney says they are not admitting that anything happened; they’re merely fighting the charge he’s facing.

He says the charge against his client, rape by custody or authority, does not fit.

“These women were not in Eric Roberts’ custody at any time,” said Gary James.  “How would you ever, ma’am, believe you were under his custody and authority?  You left his vehicle multiple times.  You were never handcuffed.  Again, their statements.”

Grace Franklin, with OKC Artists for Justice, says the argument does not make sense to her.

“It’s upsetting.  The motion itself is upsetting, to try and use that type of loop hole,” said Franklin.  “I’m not in any type of custody unless you put me under arrest?  That’s ludicrous.  I have to do what you say.  I have to follow your command.”

Franklin says just because the traffic stop was over does not mean that any kind of sexual encounter afterward was consensual.

“You pulled me over in your authority.  And then say, ‘Well, I didn’t arrest you, so you were free to do whatever you wanted to do.’  No, you’re a police officer.  The badge, the uniform, the lights, it’s intimidating,” said Franklin.

“The evidence that the State of Oklahoma has, the testimony of the alleged victims, based upon the law; there is no crime being committed,” said James.

It will now be up to a judge next month to decide if the case will proceed against Roberts or if the charges will be dismissed.

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