Human rights activists demand accountability for systemic inequality of justice for women, children in Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Civil and human rights activists, including a woman who was allegedly victimized by a former executive aide to Governor Mary Fallin, gathered Thursday outside the Oklahoma County Courthouse demanding acknowledgement and accountability for systemic inequality of justice for women and children in Oklahoma.

"It's tough. It's rough," Sara Bana told News 4. "It's a daily struggle."

That's what Bana, a local activist, said the past year has been like.

Last May, Travis Brauer, a former aide to Fallin, was accused of taking pictures up Bana's skirt at a legislative meeting.

Later, he allegedly lied to authorities who discovered he tried to delete evidence from his cellphone.

"I continue to wonder what if I had been a disenfranchised woman who didn't have any network or connections or understanding of the law, would the truth about this incident have ever come out?" Bana said.

Sexual assault victims and supporters joined Bana on Thursday for a #MeToo rally at the Oklahoma County Courthouse.

"Today was the day he was supposed to be here for a pre-conference hearing and I assume, because he found out about this event, him and his attorney decided to come and appear before the judge a day earlier," Bana said.

"It is 2018, almost the second half of it, and we're still dealing with systemic issues that we've always dealt with and that is hoping, praying and working toward fair and equal treatment under the law," said Garland Pruitt with the Oklahoma City chapter of the NAACP.

Pruitt was one of several people who spoke to the crowd, rallying for change.

"I'm not here to slay Mr. Brauer. He's a flawed human being like we all are. He's a product of the culture and society we all live in," Bana said. "Women are watching and I want them to know, those of them who've been victims, this is not supposed to be easy."

According to court records, Brauer's hearing scheduled for Thursday was cancelled.

We left a message with his attorney to find out if it happened on Wednesday and have not heard back.

Brauer is due back in court on August 9.

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