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Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Back issues
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Sex Abuse Alleged at Governor’s Mansion

OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) - Five women say they were sexually harassed and some of them forcibly raped at the Oklahoma Governor's Mansion while on work detail from a state prison. They claim groundskeeper supervisor Anthony Bobelu sexually preyed on them, and held one woman down while executive chef Russell Humphries raped her. Both men eventually were fired, but neither one was prosecuted, the women say in their federal complaint.

The former inmates of the Hillside Correctional Facility in Oklahoma City say Bobelu offered "forbidden privileges," such as cigarettes, in exchange for sex, and retaliated for rejection by forcing them to do unnecessary, physically demanding work.

When two women rejected Bobelu's demand for a threesome, "he made them dig a 30-foot trench for refusing his request," according to the complaint.

One woman says that in January 2009 she "was brutally raped by Russell Humphries while Anthony Bobelu held her down."

Another inmate says she raped three times in 2008-2009.

They say Bobelu would lock them into a room with him and force them to watch pornography with him.

Bobelu and Humphries were fired in September 2009 after a supervisor caught Bobelu groping an inmate, the complaint states.

The women say Bobelu began a sexual relationship with an inmate shortly after he was hired to work at the mansion, and verbally harassed and made sexual advances to other inmates as well.

Bobelu "would give the inmates forbidden privileges if they performed sexual acts, allowing them to go to the store and get cigarettes, smoke on the job, use his cell phone and purchase items for the [other] inmates," the complaint states.

The woman say Bobelu repeatedly threatened to get them in trouble with the prison if they refused his advances; if that threat failed, he would retaliated against them by forcing them to do excessively hard and unnecessary work.

"On one occasion [Bobelu] tried to get two inmates, Dana Reeder and Nancy Robinson to have a threesome in the office of the [mansion] firehouse. When they refused, he made them dig a 30 foot trench for refusing his request," the complaint states.

The women seek punitive damages on claims that include cruel and unusual punishment. The 12 named defendants do not include Brad Henry, who was governor during the time of the alleged abuses.

The women are represented by David Garrett, Mark Thetford and Jackqualyn R. Quinton with the Garrett Law Office of Tulsa.

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