Burgess Faces Up To 467 Years In Prison If Convicted
ARAPAHO, Okla. --
An Oklahoma sheriff resigned after an investigation reveals he was running a sex-slave operation from his jail, police said.
VIDEO: Charges Against Custer Co. Sheriff Outlined
Michael Burgess surrendered to Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents and posted bond Wednesday night, hours after he resigned as Custer County sheriff amid 35 felony charges, including accusations of forcible oral sodomy, kidnapping, rape and perjury. Investigators said at one point Burgess oversaw wet T-shirt contests at the Custer County Jail.
The 35 charges against Burgess include bribery of a public official, indecent exposure, 14 counts of rape in the second degree and rape by instrumentation.
The Texas County district attorney started looking into Burgess in May 2007 when a participant in the Washita-Custer County drug court program told investigators that Burgess made her have sex with him on a threat of sending her to prison. Because of a conflict of interest, Custer County prosecutors handed the case to Texas County authorities.
According to an affidavit signed by District Attorney James Boring, Burgess compelled a Weatherford woman to travel to Oklahoma City and meet him at the Biltmore Hotel for sex in April 2006. The same woman had sex with Burgess under duress at a Clinton truck stop parking lot and at her home.
Once the investigation of Burgess got going, the former sheriff is accused of having another woman go to the alleged victim's home in Weatherford to remove incriminating evidence against him in exchange for securing her brother's release from prison.
Other accusations outlined in the affidavit include testimony from a former sheriff's deputy, who said Burgess groped her between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30, 2005. Burgess also allegedly forced a drug-court probation violator to perform oral sex on him in his county vehicle.
Perjury charges stem from an incident in which Burgess allegedly helped a Custer County woman falsify and secure a protective order against another man. The affidavit states that Burgess directed and coached the woman "as to facts she was to present and which she in fact testified to under oath" with regard to the protective order.
Burgess had been sheriff in Custer County since 1994, and these accusations have the entire region talking. Residents said that if the accusations turn out to be true, it sends a bad message.
"That you can't really trust anybody no matter if they're in power because people in power abuse their power," said Kim Whiteshirt.
If convicted on all counts, Burgess could face a sentence of up to 467 years in prison. Authorities told Eyewitness News 5 that Burgess is also involved in a lawsuit over accusations of inappropriate actions.
A source in Custer County also told Eyewitness News 5 that while it's likely the county's undersheriff would take over as sheriff, details of succession would probably be ironed out on Thursday.
Eyewitness News 5 has left a message with Burgess' attorney but has not yet received a return call.
Previous Stories:Custer Co. Sheriff Resigns Amid Felony Charges
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Original Article - Police: Okla. Sheriff Ran Sex-Slave Operation From Jail - Oklahoma City News Story - KOCO Oklahoma City
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