'Some kind of sick joke' Sapulpa man cleared in Tulsa rapes talks about his ordeal and aftermath

Posted at 11:11 PM, Aug 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 17:27:28-04

Daniel Stegeman's life was turned upside down August 8 after he was forced to spend almost a full week in jail for crimes he did not commit.

Stegeman was arrested for what police called a “violent” rape but later that same week, he was cleared from of the charges and released from jail on August 12.

The 33-year-old father of three says he has another child on the way.  He says his pregnant fiancé stuck by his side during the ordeal. She was with him the night police alleged a woman was raped after meeting a man on a dating app.

Stegeman was arrested at work. He is a tire salesman at Cecil and Son's Discount Tire in Sapulpa.

"I'm out in the public all day, every day I mean this is my livelihood," Stegeman said.

Stegeman says he is grateful to those who supported him, including his employer.

Tulsa police arrested Stegeman after two rape victims picked him out a lineup. His car is similar to that of the man who eventually was arrested and charged for the rapes: Evan Parrott

"What was going through my mind was that this was some kind of sick joke," he said.

Stegeman spent four nights in jail before DNA evidence exonerated him and he was freed. Tulsa police apologized for the mistake, but Stegeman says the damage from the media exposure had already been done.

He says the hardest part was explaining the situation to his family.

"Those kind of accusations really can just devastate somebody's life and I didn't know how to tell them that I, I didn't do this," Stegeman said.

Stegeman has contacted an attorney and is considering legal action against the Tulsa Police Department.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We have replaced the first version of the video on this story with a new video to correct a factual error. 2 Works for You incorrectly reported in the video that it was the first time Daniel Stegeman had been arrested. We have since found that Stegeman has been arrested two other times. 2 Works for You regrets the error.

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