Sheriff Michael Burgess
Now, why would a fine sheriff like Sheriff Michael Burgess need a guide to surviving a stay in jail? After all, Sheriff Burgess is an upstanding guy. The Oklahoman is a former police officer and state government investigator. He was appointed sheriff after his predecessor died, and was popular enough to get elected and re-elected in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
Prison? Michael Burgess is a family man! He’s married, and is a grandfather to eight kids! And like so many other Oklahomans, Michael Burgess likes to get out and hunt and play some golf.
Not a chance would this guy ever do something that dishonors law enforcement.
Yeah. Not a chance.
On the 16th of April, 2008, James Boring, a district attorney in Texas County, Oklahoma filed a few documents in Custer County District Court – the same county that Michael Burgess happened to be the sheriff of. The filed court documents reveal what could only be called a pattern of most un-sherifflike behavior between the years 2005 and 2007.
What kind of un-sherifflike behavior is James Boring accusing Michael Burgess of? Well, Michael Burgess is accused of using his power as county sheriff to get at least five women to sexually pleasure him in exchange for preferential treatment with their situations. The words “sexual slavery” were thrown around.
Four of the women listed were either inmates in the small, 80-inmate Custer County jail or were members of the county’s drug program. Apparently, Michael Burgess would promise to keep the women he had sex with from going back to jail. The sheriff’s activities came to light when, on the 21st of May, 2007, one of the women Michael Burgess had been having sex with tested hot for drugs. This was a problem for the woman because one of the requirements for this woman staying out of jail was that she pass regular drug screens. With a failed drug test, she was going to be sent back to jail for violation of her parole/program requirements.
When this woman was told that she had failed the drug test and that she was going back to jail, she pointed out to the nice officer that since she had been having regular sex with Sheriff Michael Burgess and that the sheriff had promised that he would protect her and keep her from going back to jail.
Someone tipped off the state authorities about the woman’s statement, and Sheriff Michael Burgess learned about her statement as well.
While the state authorities were figuring out what to do about the problem, Michael Burgess contacted this woman’s cousin. The woman’s cousin happened to be female and also happened to be part of the drug court program, which would indicate that Sheriff Michael Burgess wasn’t the best judge of character for choosing women with which to hold extra-marital affairs.
The sheriff told this woman’s cousin to throw out anything that might hold DNA evidence from his and her cousin’s sexual encounters, like condoms, that might prove that he’d been doing what he had been doing. In exchange for this woman’s help in covering up his abuse of power, Sheriff Michael Burgess promised to have her brother released from jail.
Nice. Very nice.
According to the documents filed in court, Sheriff Michael Burgess appears to be something of a sexual predator, forcing inmates under his control to perform sexual acts (oral, anal and vaginal) in his office, his sheriff’s vehicle, local motels and hotels, a truck stop and in houses belonging to both inmates and regular non-incarcerated friends of his.
In one particularly interesting and ironic case, Sheriff Michael Burgess took one of the women in his drug programs with him to Oklahoma City in April of 2006 when he traveled to take part in a “legislative initiative” relating to drug court problems across the state.
While there were actually other participants from the drug program who traveled with the sheriff, they were accompanied by a drug counselor. While the other participants and the drug counselor went to dinner, Sheriff Michael Burgess told this particular woman to stay behind with him at his room in the Biltmore Hotel. According to the court documents, neither Sheriff Michael Burgess nor this woman went hungry that night, as they stayed in the sheriff’s hotel room, ordered room service and had a whole heck of a lot of sex all night long.
Another ex-inmate claims that she became a trustee in the jail after she agreed to give Sheriff Michael Burgess a blowjob and was fired from the position when she refused to perform the same act later on.
Yet another series of incidents involving the sheriff inappropriately conducting himself were related to his relationship with a former sheriff’s office employee who said that Michael Burgess touched her a number of times, at a restaurant, in a courtroom and while she tried on her office uniform.
And in October of 2007, a federal lawsuit was filed that detailed how 12 former inmates of the Custer County jail were encouraged to engage in wet t-shirt contests and were given cigarettes if they exposed their breasts to officers.
So there’s a lot of accusations flying around.
Enough accusations that when, as state prosecutors filed 35 felony charges against him on the 16th of April, 2008, Custer County Sheriff Michael Burgess resigned, effective immediately. Michael Burgess surrendered to state authorities, was booked and released on a $50,000 bond. As long as now ex-Sheriff Michael Burgess stays away from any of the 33 witnesses expected to testify against him, he’ll be free to pursue all the hunting and golf he wishes.
Eventually, he’ll have his day in court. Considering that Michael Burgess could possibly face up to 467 years in prison if convicted of the 14 counts of second-degree rape, seven counts of forcible oral sodomy, five counts of bribery by a public official and a few counts of perjury that he’s been charged with, it will probably be a long, long day in court for him.
On the 23rd of September, 2008, former Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess pled not guilty to 36 charges of forcing female inmates to provide sexual favors. Michael Burgess entered the plea during arraignment in Major County District Court where the hearing was held to accommodate the judge.
Michael Burgess faces charges of rape, rape by instrumentation, kidnapping, sexual battery and oral sodomy of female drug court participants.
Trial has been set for the 1st of December, 2008 in Custer County but defense attorney Steve Huddleston says he’ll decide shortly whether to ask for a change of venue.
Does ex-Sheriff Michael Burgess deserve Hell?
- Yes (81%, 300 Votes)
- No (19%, 80 Votes)
Total Voters: 370
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