Thu August 14, 2008
Hearing Held for Former Custer County Sheriff
Arapaho, OK – Former Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess has been ordered to stand trial on multiple felony counts that accuse him of demanding sexual favors from female offenders in exchange for his help in a drug court program.
Special Judge Paul Woodward yesterday found there was enough evidence to bring Burgess to trial on rape, rape by instrumentation, kidnapping, sexual battery and oral sodomy charges.
Woodward handed down his decision following a two-day preliminary hearing, where several female offenders testified that Burgess demanded sexual favors in exchange for his help in getting them in or keeping them in a drug court program.
No arraignment date was set. Burgess was ordered to return to court on August 25th and appear before his trial judge, who has not been named.
Woodward allowed Burgess to remain free on bond.
Burgess' attorney, Steve Huddleston, questioned the credibility of the women who testified, saying they have been charged with drug and other criminal offenses.
Huddleston says his client is innocent and looks forward to going to trial.