AP NEWS

Defense fights to recuse DA in Oklahoma sexual assault case

April 5, 2018

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Attorneys for four Oklahoma teenagers accused of sexual assault are insisting that a district attorney’s office should be recused from the case.

The Bixby High School students are accused in an attack on a 16-year-old boy with a pool cue last summer. They’re charged with second-degree rape by instrumentation and have pleaded not guilty.

Defense attorneys said Wednesday that it’s “alarming” the state is indifferent to admitted relationships between the Rogers County District Attorney’s Office and the family of the alleged victim.

The Tulsa World reports that the defense’s filing comes after District Attorney Matt Ballard asked a judge to deny a recusal request for his office.

Defense attorneys argue that Ballard has “implicitly conceded” that there are connections between his staff and the alleged victim’s family. They say that can create at least the appearance of personal bias.

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