A disgraced Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper accused of raping and sexually assaulting three women during traffic stops has been sentenced following a plea agreement to lesser charges.
Trooper Eric Roberts was suspended from the OHP in July 2014 after being accused of raping a woman he stopped in a traffic stop. The woman told authorities that Roberts threatened her with arrest if she didn't comply, driving her to a secluded location and having sex with her.
After the allegations came to light, prosecutors identified two other women Roberts allegedly assaulted under similar circumstances.
Roberts resigned from the OHP in September 2014 after the allegations against him became public. He was charged with more than a dozen crimes involving the three women, including second degree rape, rape by instrumentation, sexual battery, forcible sodomy, procuring indecent exposure, requesting a bribe, and embezzlement.
Eventually, some of the charges were dismissed, but Roberts was ordered to stand trial on several criminal complaints. The former trooper had pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying that the sexual contact was consensual, and that the women were not in custody at any time.
However, earlier this week, Eric Roberts accepted a plea agreement that would keep him off of the sex offender registry. Roberts pleaded guilty to lesser charges--including procuring indecent exposure with an adult, embezzlement and bribery--in exchange for the dismissal of the more serious charges, including rape, rape by instrument, sodomy, forcible sodomy.
If he had been convicted of the more serious offenses, Roberts would likely have received a sentence nearing life in prison, and he would have been required to register for life as a sex offender. As a result of his plea agreement, the former state trooper is sentenced to eight years and six months in prison, followed by 10 years of probation. He will not be required to register as a sex offender.
A civil lawsuit against Roberts is still pending.
Image credit: Brad.K
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