Several women accuse a police officer in The Village police of sexual misconduct, harassment

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THE VILLAGE, Okla. (KFOR) — An officer facing manslaughter charges following a shooting in July is now being accused of sexual assault and harassment by several woman. 

“I was very aware of his position in the community and that intimidated me,” a woman who wanted to remain anonymous said. 

Fearing what Village police officer Chance Avery might do after she went public about past alleged encounters with him for the first time, the woman is one of three accusers speaking to KFOR News 4 this week who wants to remain anonymous. 

“He had his phone out and I walked up to him and asked me what do you think of this and he showed me some pornography on his phone,” she said. 

It allegedly happened in 2013 when Avery was a deputy with the Custer County Sheriff’s Office. She claims he sexually assaulted her during a business meeting after Avery had contacted her about training a family horse. 

“He then took my jeans and started to slide them down and I told him no and I went to walk away and I got almost to the front door and was unable to get outside before he continued to do what he was going to do,” she said. 

She said he then allegedly sodomized her. She claims she reported it to the Custer County Sheriff’s Office and it was shrugged off. 

KFOR checked with the department and Sheriff Kenneth Tidwell, who was the undersheriff at the time, told us he couldn’t find any report in the system, or recall hearing about the allegation.

“I wish I had said something,” another anonymous accuser told News 4. 

She also did not want to reveal her identity to the public fearing retaliation. 

She claims Avery sexually harassed her in 2013 after he responded to her family home following a domestic dispute and arrested her ex-boyfriend. 

“He asked for my personal number and asked if he could call me from his phone and I was like ‘yeah, that’s fine’ because I didn’t really think a cop was going to abuse his power,” she said. “He ended up harassing me, basically he started asking me for nude photos.”

She said the harassing messages continued for some time, but she was too scared to report it. 

On Wednesday, a third accuser contacted News 4 with an allegation from 2010. She said she met Avery in a social setting and when they ended up alone, he attempted to sexually assault her. 

“He started to get handsy with me. He actually kissed me and I was like, uh no. And then he pinned me with his hand around my throat and tried to get forceful,” she said. “He put his hand on my throat and pushed me against the wall and so I’m facing the wall with him choking me and then I kicked him in the balls.”

She as well feared what would happen if she reported Avery. 

All three women wanted to come forward after body camera was released to News 4 last week from an officer-involved shooting in the Village involving Avery back in July. 

He shot and killed Christopher Poor while responding to a domestic situation after Poor refused to drop a bat in his hand. 

Ultimately, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater filed a first-degree manslaughter charge against Avery. 

“As of right now, I’ve spoken to four different women who have gone on record with us in regards to the experiences they’ve had,” Sara Bana, a local victim’s activist, told News 4. 

Bana is talking with the three women, and a fourth with similar allegations, and is working with attorneys on possible legal action in the coming days. 

“I believe these women. I applaud them for their courage. I understand that many of them have come forth prior. I even spoke to one women who even had attempted to share her experience of Chance’s criminal conduct even with the sheriff’s department and even with the D.A.’s office. She was unheard,” Bana said. 

In a lengthy statement sent to News 4, Avery’s attorney, Gary James, said in part, “Chance Avery denies any of the allegations you have related to me. This include sexual assault or harassment. I do not believe this is responsible journalism. If these individuals will not provide their names, what consequences do they have for giving untruthful statements?”

James continued, talking about one of the alleged victims, saying her “credibility is extremely suspect.” 

That victim told News 4 she has had legal troubles in the past, but wants to make sure what allegedly happened to her doesn’t happen to anyone else. 

“I want them to know every time a woman, victim and a survivor stands up, tells their truth and their experience, then the hope is that we make our communities safer as we move forward,” Bana said. 

Avery was also involved in a deadly, officer-involved shooting back in 2014 in Custer County that resulted in the death of 18-year-old Mah-Hi-Vist Goodblanket

The District Attorney cleared him in that case. 

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