Claremore Daily Progress

March 5, 2013

Seeking Justice

Salesha Wilken
Claremore Progress

CLAREMORE — A Rogers County father is outraged after what he perceives as failed promises by District Attorney Janice Steidley and First Assistant Bryce Lair to seek justice for his daughters who were allegedly raped.

“Janice Steidley needs to grow a backbone and do the job. If she can’t do the job, then she needs to get out of office. You can not just let rapists go free,” the father said. “I am a taxpayer and I expect criminals to be held accountable in the county. All I have received from the DA is smoke and mirrors.”
The DA’s office said they are considering filing child neglect charges in the case, he added.
The father said that Lair told him the judge would have to make a decision on what to do with the suspects and that the suspects may have to go to counseling. 
The DA prefers to have the Department of Human Services handle the situation Lair said, according to the father.
“This is not what I want done and not what I want to hear,” the father said.  “They want to know why we have the problems in the county with kids, because we don’t have district attorneys that will do their jobs. I guess you get a free ticket if you are rapist in Rogers County.”
The father has also voiced concerns with the DA’s office about the safety and rights of his daughters.
“They have not been protecting the rights of the victims,” he said. “The suspects have more rights than my daughters.”
The father said the suspects have been harassing the victims at school, spreading rumors and speaking of the sex acts.
“My girls are still riding the bus to school with the suspects and the DA said they can do nothing to help,” he said. “How much more do my daughters have to take? The DA (Janice Steidley) has not even had the courtesy to meet with us.”
The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office is the only agency that has helped us, he added. The deputies provided the DA with a 19-page report detailing the crimes and including first hand accounts from witnesses.
“How much evidence do you have to have when the parent witnesses the crime,” he said.
However, the District Attorney first declined to file charges, calling the sex act “consensual” even though the two female victims were only 8- and 9-years old at the time of the crime. 
Lair said he would investigate, however they are doing nothing to protect the girls, according to the father. The father was granted only one protective order against one of three suspects, but after the DA declined to file charges the suspect was released from custody.
Additionally, the DA’s office is only looking at two of the three suspects in the case. The father said he would not stop until his daughters receive the justice they deserve.
Steidley said in a brief statement that she is not personally handling the case and that DA Investigator Gary Stansill and David Book of the RCSO are investigating the issue.
“The office is peparing to take action in regards to this situation,” she said.
“We have done our part in providing the DA’s office information from our investigation and that is all we can do at this time.” Sheriff Scott Walton