UPDATE - Tulsa DA's office recuses itself from Bixby sexual assault case, Rogers Co takes over

Posted at 8:25 PM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 18:54:44-05

UPDATE - Tulsa District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler confirms his office has recused itself in the sexual assault investigation involving multiple Bixby High School football players. 

Kunzweiler sent 2 Works for You this response Friday afternoon:

"Yes, we have a conflict in reviewing / handling anything associated with that investigation," Kunzweiler said. "Attorney General Mike Hunter, upon my request, assigned District Attorney Matt Ballard’s Office to handle all matters associated with the investigation."

Ballard is the Rogers County District Attorney.

Earlier in the week, a source connected to the case told 2 Works for You that the alleged victim’s relative works for the District Attorney’s office. 

The office released a statement Tuesday saying, “Our office would necessarily recuse itself from review of any investigation if it is determined that a victim is connected to a member of our staff.” 

The nature of the conflict that led the District Attorney's office to recuse itself is not clear.

Earlier this week, Bixby investigators asked the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for help with a sexual assault investigation involving multiple Bixby High School football players. 

“It’s a nightmare for everyone involved," legal expert Adam Weintraub said.

An alleged incident has opened the door to the rumor mill in Bixby. 

“It’s still a difficult topic," Weintraub said after a police report was filed on Nov. 9. 

“My heart breaks for the alleged victim and I got to tell you, these alleged perpetrators even if they are found to be not guilty, it’s going to be a very difficult time for them," Weintraub said.

The report says the incident happened on Nov. 2.

A source close to the investigation told 2 Works for You that the alleged incident did not happen at a football event but rather at an informal gathering of football players. The source claims a group of players was “roughhousing.” 

“I have an understanding of how sensitive the subject is," Weintraub said.

The police report accuses the students of rape by instrumentation.

“Anything from a finger to a yardstick," Weintraub said. "Of all the things that can happen to a person short of being killed.”

The source said the Bixby football coach removed multiple players from the team.

The team addressed a “no bullying policy" recently, but did not address the specific incident. The source said two of the players involved were starters and have not played in games for the last three weeks. 

"Whatever the allegations are, no one has been found guilty of anything yet," Weintraub said.

The case is still being investigated and no arrests have been made.

The Bixby Board of Education released a statement Friday, saying under state and federal law the district is precluded from commenting on any facts or information involving any students or employees.

The Bixby Spartans will face Midwest City on Friday for a chance to advance to the state championship. 

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