Former Oklahoma State Trooper Eric Roberts was sentenced on Tuesday to over 8 years in prison on numerous charges including bribery, embezzlement, and indecent exposure with an adult. Roberts pled guilty to these charges as part of a plea agreement with the prosecution where they agreed not to pursue the more serious charges against him, which included rape by instrumentation and sexual battery. Roberts will also have to perform 10 years of probation after he serves his prison time.
The charges originated after Roberts had been accused of pulling women over during his traffic stops and then sexually assaulting them. There were three women who Roberts was accused of assaulting sexually in this case. But according to Roberts, the sex was consensual with these women and he never forced them to do anything that they didn’t want to do. Roberts’ father, Sonny Roberts, claimed that his son Eric accepted the plea agreement only because they didn’t have enough money to pay for defense attorneys in a jury trial.
If the prosecution hadn’t agreed to drop the serious sexual assault charges in exchange for his guilty plea on the minor charges, Roberts could have easily gotten a life sentence if he had been found guilty by a jury. In addition, Roberts won’t be required to register as a sex offender once he gets out of prison because of the plea deal. This was a condition that the defense was adamant about because having to register as a sex offender is something that haunts a person for the rest of their life.
The weird thing is that two other police officers in Oklahoma were accused of doing similar sexual crimes around the time when Roberts was accused of doing them. Former Tulsa County Sheriff’s Deputy Gerald Nuckolls also received an 8-year prison sentence last year for indecent exposure and sexual battery. But the worst was from former Oklahoma City Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw who was sentenced to 263 years in prison for raping numerous women while on duty.