Tulsa County district attorney recuses himself from Bixby sexual assault investigation

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BIXBY, Okla. - The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and Bixby police are investigating claims of sexual assault on a minor by four or five other juveniles, all believed to be members of the high school football team.

Information from the police report suggests the incident happened at the superintendent's home. 

When FOX23 asked the superintendent about the incident, we received a statement:

Please note that under state and federal law I am precluded from commenting or providing information related to any students who may or may not be involved in an investigation. As a result I have no comment on an investigation or its outcomes, including but not limited to the nature and scope of the investigation or the persons or subject matter of an investigation. Following me around, coming to my office, and/or coming to my home to seek an interview about this issue will not change the fact that I am precluded from making any comment whatsoever. I understand you are seeking a story. Please know, however, that fact does not change the restriction of confidentiality of students as required by law.

Four teens face a charge of rape by instrumentation. The District Attorney's office plans to make a statement later Tuesday. 

Dr. Woods' office declined comment on the matter. 

Officials said police started getting information in early November and that the alleged incident may have happened a week or two before it was reported.

Police later clarified that they received information from Bixby Public Schools concerning the incident on November 2 and began their own investigation. A week later, they requested OSBI assistance.

The incident was referred to as a "hazing," according to the assistant police chief.

FOX23 has reached out to the district. We received this response: 

On November 9, 2017, the Bixby Board of Education went into executive session to discuss with its outside independent legal counsel an ongoing investigation involving certain Bixby High School students.  Under state and federal laws the District, including its board of education and staff, is precluded from commenting on any facts or information involving any students or employees who may be involved in the investigation.  As a result, throughout this investigation the Board and its staff will have no comment on the investigation, including but not limited to the nature and scope of the investigation or the persons or subject matter of the investigation.  If, as a result of the investigation, the District takes action, it will do so pursuant to a proper agenda item and in open session.  No further comments on this matter will be made by staff or members of the Board at this time.

District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler released a statement on the alleged incident:

The Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office does not get involved unless a law enforcement report is delivered to our office for review.  Our Office would necessarily recuse itself from review of any investigation if it is determined that a victim is connected to a member of our staff.

Child abuse investigations are particularly sensitive cases for victims, and confidentiality should be protected in every instance.

On Friday, Kunzweiler's office announced he will recuse himself from the investigation. Rogers County District Attorney Matt Ballard has been asked to look into the case.


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