- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma sheriff’s deputy resigned Wednesday after two women said he sexually assaulted them at a Tulsa County home while he was on duty, a case that comes on the heels of a state trooper and an Oklahoma City police officer being arrested on sexual assault complaints.

Tulsa County Deputy Gerald Nuckolls, 26, was arrested late Tuesday on complaints of sexual assault and battery and indecent exposure. He remained jailed on $125,000 bond.

Undersheriff Tim Albin said Nuckolls resigned after being placed on unpaid leave. Nuckolls hasn’t been formally charged, and authorities believe there could be at least five more women who have yet to come forward. It’s not clear from jail records whether he has an attorney.

Nuckolls’ arrest came a day after Oklahoma State Trooper Eric Roberts was arrested on complaints of kidnapping, rape and other crimes. Three women have said Roberts sexually assaulted them while he was on duty. Roberts’ attorney has said the trooper is innocent.

Weeks before Roberts’ arrest, Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw was accused of sexually assaulting at least eight women while on duty. Holtzclaw has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The recent allegations against the three lawmen are among similar complaints lodged against Oklahoma officers in the past decade.

In 2011, Delaware County commissioners agreed to a $13.5 million settlement after 15 women complained they were raped, sexually assaulted or fondled by their jailers. In 2009, Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess was sentenced to 79 years for sexual assaults against an inmate.

Former Latimer County Sheriff Melvin Holly was sentenced to 25 years for sexual crimes, including abusing a 19-year-old inmate in 2004 and warning her she would “end up dead somewhere, floating face-down in a river” if she ever reported what happened.

Nuckolls, who had worked for the sheriff’s office for two years, showed up at the women’s home investigating a 911 hang-up call, according to his arrest report.

The report alleges Nuckolls exposed his genitals to one woman inside his patrol SUV. The woman said she began rubbing the officer’s genitals because he told her it would keep her boyfriend out of jail.

Nuckolls asked a second woman at the house about her tattoos and if she was wearing a bra, then reached up and pulled her dress down, according to the report.

The woman said she pulled her dress up as Nuckolls began touching himself. She said she told him she wanted to go back inside and that Nuckolls said he would return when his shift ended.

Nuckolls told detectives who interviewed him that “he has a problem for pretty women” and that “sexual type activity has occurred” during encounters with about six women.

Missy Iski, director of programs and counseling at DVIS/Call Rape in Tulsa, said Wednesday that potential victims may be reluctant to come forward especially when a law officer is alleged to have been involved.

“When you add a law enforcement person, it even adds to the difficulty,” Iski said.

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