The former chief investigator for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner faces a sexual battery trial after an Oklahoma County judge denied the defense's motion to quash his indictment.
Charges of Sexual Battery
Kevin Rowland also faced four charges of sexual battery in Tulsa, but three of the charges were dropped because they had reached the statute of limitations, and the fourth charge was amended to rape. Rowland's defense lawyer asserts that the charges against the former chief investigator are politically motivated.
He filed the motion to quash saying that the indictment stemmed from an incident that was merely "horseplay" between two co-workers, rather than a sexually motivated crime. Rowland is accused of twisting the nipple of another male investigator while making a sexually suggestive statement.
Prosecutors claim that the action was intended to "arouse and excite sexual interest," and that the former chief investigator was taking advantage of his subordinate. However, the defense attorney asserts that the alleged victim did not take the incident as harassment and, in fact, did not even report the incident. Rather, he disclosed it during an investigation into the other charges against Rowland.
In fact, recently fired chief medical examiner Dr. Collie Trant states that he believes Rowland's alleged sex offenses are a result of the culture of the agency, rather than individual criminal conduct. He alleges in a lawsuit fighting his dismissal that he was fired in retaliation for reporting wrongdoing in Rowland's indictment. Oklahoma sexual battery laws are some of the toughest in the nation.
Sexual Battery in Oklahoma
While many states consider sexual battery to be a misdemeanor, Oklahoma law treats it as a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison. Oklahoma law gives a broad definition of this crime. This vague definition allows charges to be applied in a wide variety of situations, but can make it difficult to prove, due to the subjective nature of the charge.
If you have been charged with sexual battery in Oklahoma City, obtain legal counsel as soon as possible. Seek an Oklahoma City defense lawyer with years of experience of successful defense.