The Law Blog of Oklahoma

Former Juvenile Detention Employee Sentenced in Rape Case

Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A former employee of the Oklahoma City Community Intervention Center, a juvenile detention facility, has been sentenced to prison for having sex with a 17-year-old girl in custody. 

Cornelius Deontay Jackson, of Oklahoma City, was working at the juvenile facility over Labor Day weekend in 2015, when the 17-year-old girl was brought to the center on a public intoxication complaint. The girl later told authorities that when she arrived at the facility, the 23-year-old Jackson groped her breast and then later showed her sexually explicit pictures on his cell phone, including a picture of his own genitals. 

She told police that she later went to sleep, and Jackson woke her up, took her to a storage closet, and had sex with her. She says she did not try to resist the assault because she was still intoxicated. After she went home, she told her mother what happened, and her mother waited until Tuesday, the day following the Labor Day holiday, to report the assault.

In July, a judge ordered Jackson to stand trial on charges of sexual battery and second degree rape. Last month, the defendant pleaded guilty to both counts as part of a plea agreement. On Wednesday, Oklahoma County District Judge Ray C. Elliott sentenced Jackson in accordance with the plea agreement. 

The former juvenile detention employee is sentenced to 5 years in prison followed by 10 years of probation. Because both sexual battery and second degree rape are Level 3 felony sex crimes, the convicted man must register for life as an Oklahoma sex offender.  

Under Oklahoma law, a person aged 16 or older may, in most cases, consent to sexual intercourse with a person over the age of 18. Had the victim and the perpetrator not been in a supervisor/custodial relationship (and had the girl not been too intoxicated to give or withhold consent), there would likely not have been anything illegal about sexual contact between a 17-year-old and a 23-year-old.

However, state law expressly forbids sexual contact between people with whom there is some type of custodial relationship: a student/teacher, an inmate and a jail/prison employee, a ward of the state/DHS employee, etc. In these cases, even if the person in custody (or under supervision) gives apparent consent to sexual contact, he or she does not have the legal capacity to do so. This makes the supervisor/custodian/authority guilty of non-consensual sexual activity--rape or sexual battery.

Learn more about Oklahoma statutory rape laws.

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