Probation Officer Charged with Violating Civil Rights of Two Individuals He Supervised
U.S. Attorney Trent Shores today announced that a Probation and Parole Officer from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections was charged with civil rights violations against two individuals he supervised while they were on probation.
“No individual or group of individuals is above the law. I am committed to identifying and eradicating civil rights abuses by law enforcement and others,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “The defendant in this case was an Oklahoma Probation and Parole Officer. The civil rights violations he is alleged to have perpetrated upon two female victims are not only stomach churning, but an affront on our justice system.”
According to the Information, Steven Michael Powers, 35, of Broken Arrow, is charged with two counts of Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law based on events that occurred on or between Nov. 3, 2015, and Jan. 19, 2017. In one incident, Powers allegedly forced his penis upon a victim’s mouth against her will. In a separate incident, he allegedly exposed himself to a second victim, touched her shoulder with his penis, and masturbating in front of her. In both incidents, it is alleged that Mr. Powers willfully deprived the two victims of liberty without due process of law, which includes the right to bodily integrity, a right secured and protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States.
"While in his capacity as an Oklahoma Probation and Parole Officer, Steven Powers' conduct was an abuse of the authority and trust bestowed upon him,” said Special Agent in Charge Melissa Godbold of the FBI Oklahoma City Division. “The civil rights violations in which Powers is alleged to have committed not only violate the Constitutional rights of his victims, but undermines the integrity of our judicial system. This investigation epitomizes the FBI’s commitment to addressing incidents in which an officer's actions betray the public’s trust."
US Attorney Shores commended the thorough investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Oklahoma Department of Corrections. He also noted the diligence and victim-oriented approach of Assistant United States Attorney Jarrod Leaman in bringing this prosecution.
“I cannot underscore enough the importance of the work done by these investigators and AUSA Leaman to curb civil rights abuses. To those who think they can violate and abuse the civil rights of others: this aggression will not stand. Our system will not tolerate your criminal transgressions.”
An Information is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The FBI and Oklahoma Department of Corrections conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarrod Leaman is prosecuting the case.