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OSBI takes over Norman sexual assault investigation

A Norman patrol car parked outside the Police Department Headquarters in 2012. [Steve Sisney/The Oklahoman file]
A Norman patrol car parked outside the Police Department Headquarters in 2012. [Steve Sisney/The Oklahoman file]

NORMAN —The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, at the request of the Norman Police Department, is taking over the investigation into an alleged sexual assault after allegations surfaced that officers may have publicly shared the address of a city council member who lives next door to the victim.

The council member is believed to be Alex Scott, though she was not named by Norman police in a news release Monday. Scott has been critical of police and took action to defund the department earlier this month. She posted on social media over the weekend about her neighbor being raped after her address was publicized and believes she was the intended target of the attack

Scott said the neighbor was raped by a stranger who "broke into her side of our duplex," according to the post, which has since been removed. "Her rapist dug his elbow into her neck, pushed her into the wall, and told her 'Maybe next time you'll learn your lesson.' He threw her on the ground and raped her," Scott wrote.

Attempts to reach Scott on Monday were unsuccessful.

In an emergency call to action posted on its Facebook page, Norman Citizens for Racial Justice demanded that Police Chief Kevin Foster initiate an independent OSBI investigation. The group, which pressured the city council to defund the police department, said the department can't be trusted to investigate the alleged sexual assault because an officer "distributed" the home address of a councilwoman on social media.

Norman police responded to a reported sexual assault about 12:45 a.m. Saturday in the 100 block of Crawford Court. Officers contacted the victim and initiated an investigation, according to the news release.

"During the course of this investigation the Norman Police Department has become aware of concerns by some community members regarding allegations that employees of our department were involved in the release a citizen’s address," the release stated. "We are aware of several social media messages being shared among the community which include the address of a city council member.

"This concern will continue to be reviewed and investigated. Initially available information indicates the information shared on social media by members of our community, including some off duty members of our agency, was obtained from the involved law enforcement agencies through public open records releases in accordance with Oklahoma state law."

Community members who have additional information or specific concerns regarding the incident or any other topic involving police department employees are asked to contact Internal Affairs Division at 405-366-5270 or pdprofstandards@normanok.gov.

Tim Willert

Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers K-12 education, including Oklahoma City Public Schools and the state Education Department. Before that he covered district, federal and appellate courts in Oklahoma County. Prior... Read more ›

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