A courtroom sketch shows former Sheriff Stanley Glanz being sworn in to testify Wednesday. Sketch by Evelyn Petroski

A courtroom sketch shows former Sheriff Stanley Glanz being sworn in to testify Wednesday.
Sketch by Evelyn Petroski

Former Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz admitted during testimony in a federal civil trial Wednesday that his office violated multiple policies designed to protect young girls in the Tulsa Jail.

However Interim Sheriff Michelle Robinette testified that policies on staffing, training and housing juveniles weren’t violated because they only apply to underage boys in the jail. Robinette said the policies aren’t applied to girls “because we have very few female juveniles in our jail.”

Glanz and Robinette are being sued by a woman who was 17 when she said a detention officer repeatedly raped her, forced her to perform oral sex and sexually assaulted her while she was held in the jail. The assaults allegedly occurred during four months in 2010 when she was held in the north end of the medical unit.

During the fourth day of trial in federal court, Glanz said that juvenile females are housed in an isolated area of the jail that does not qualify as a “direct supervision” unit. Detention officers supervising the girls are also not required to have specialized training or to have at least one year of experience.

Additionally, sometimes a single male detention officer is assigned to the medical unit in the Tulsa Jail where girls are held, he said. All of those conditions would violate either policies he approved while sheriff or violate state law defining minimum standards for jails, Glanz acknowledged.

The officer, Seth Bowers, resigned from the sheriff’s office in 2010 the day before he was scheduled to take a polygraph. During a deposition, Bowers repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment when asked whether he had sexual contact with the girl.

Bowers, initially a defendant in the lawsuit, has settled with the plaintiff for undisclosed terms. The sheriff’s office found the girl’s allegations credible and recommended charges to the district attorney, who declined to file them.

Bowers’ attorney has said that invoking the Fifth Amendment “is not an indicator that he acted badly. It is an indicator that he, or his attorney, fully understood his rights and the perils of waiving his rights.”

The plaintiff’s attorney, Dan Smolen, asked Glanz to explain the difference between direct supervision pods where all other types of prisoners are held and the medical unit. The former sheriff said direct supervision pods have a common area where a detention officer mingles with up to 90 inmates, who can watch television and socialize in exchange for following the rules.

Inmates can be locked down in their individual cells inside the pod if they violate the rules.
“They have a lot of visitation. The chaplain can come and visit them. They all can talk to each other. They’re in an open situation,” Glanz said. “As long as everybody obeys the rules, then everybody gets along.”

The Tulsa Jail holds about 1,700 inmates. Juvenile girls are held in solitary confinement in the jail's medical unit because there is no dedicated pod for them. DYLAN GOFORTH/The Frontier

The Tulsa Jail holds about 1,700 inmates. Juvenile girls are held in solitary confinement in the jail’s medical unit because there is no dedicated pod for them. DYLAN GOFORTH/The Frontier

Nearly all adult males, adult females and juvenile males in the 1,700-bed lockup are all held in direct supervision pods. Some are held in segregated cells if they are a suicide risk, have a serious medical issue, are a danger to other inmates or are in protective housing due to threats.

Only juvenile females — girls under 18 accused of crimes serious enough to land them in an adult jail — are housed in individual cells at the end of a hallway in the jail’s medical clinic. Girls in the jail are locked in their cells nearly around the clock, except for visits and showers, according to testimony.

The cells are separated from others by a locked steel door and until 2011, there were no cameras in the area. Thick plastic “medical blinds” obscure views of the girls’ cells because jail standards require juveniles to be separated by “sight and sound” from adult inmates.

“You do direct supervision for juvenile males for their own safety and security, correct?” Smolen asked Glanz.

“Yes,” he replied.

“Yet you violate your own internal policies by housing females in the north wing of the medical unit, correct?”

“As you interpret them, yes.”

“You were the sheriff in 2010 and you signed those policies, correct?” Smolen continued.


Glanz later explained that he believed the unit “is the safest place” to hold juvenile females, which he said is  the group most likely to be victimized in a jail.

He said he did not believe “all the truth has come forward yet” on the girls’ allegations.

Smolen asked Glanz about a report he made to a U.S. Department of Justice panel studying the issue of rape and sexual assaults in prisons and jails. The panel on the Prison Rape Elimination Act, or PREA, sought detailed figures from the Tulsa Jail on the prevalence of sexual assault.

Glanz’s 2011 report to the panel reported no cases in which the sheriff’s office investigated alleged sexual assaults by staff on inmates in 2010. However Glanz said he had been briefed nearly a year earlier, in May 2010, about the investigation into the 17-year-old girl’s allegations.

Another teen held in the medical unit at the same time said Bowers gave her hugs and that she had seen him expose his penis to the 17-year-old.

“Isn’t it true that you didn’t even make one mention” of the two girls’ allegations in the PREA report, Smolen asked Glanz.

“It was left out,” Glanz replied.


“I don’t know the answer to that,” he responded.

Glanz testified under oath before the prison rape panel that he had reviewed the report submitted by his office and that the figures were accurate.

When asked why he had not alerted the Department of Justice to errors in the report during the past five years, Glanz replied: “No one ever asked.”

The federal judge overseeing the case has said in an opinion that the omission does not appear to be accidental.

Cameras not installed despite risk

A frequent topic of discussion during the hearings has centered on why video cameras had not been installed in the medical unit at the time of the alleged assaults.

Cameras are present in most other areas of the jail. In depositions, Glanz and Robinette have said cameras deter abuse of inmates by staff as well as false allegations of such conduct.

The sheriff’s office states in its PREA report that a male nurse was discovered “peeking” at a 15-year-old girl as she showered in the medical unit in 2008. However cameras were not installed in the medical unit for three more years, records show.

The plaintiff has also alleged that Bowers watched her showering. Records show Bowers’ initials are listed in a medical log book indicating he took her to a shower in the medical unit.

“You did not install cameras in 2008 where the female juveniles are housed, did you?” Smolen asked him.


“Mr. Glanz, you knew there was a risk of sexual assault.”

“Any time you run a facility that big, you have people in it that do a lot of things,” Glanz responded.

Glanz explained that locations of video cameras were determined when the Tulsa Jail was built in 1996. He said he had no input in that process because a private company took over operation of the jail.

“They laid out the cameras. … I was removed from the process,” Glanz said. “They made that decision when they built the facility.”

Several news stories about construction of the David L. Moss Jail at 300 N. Denver Ave. state Glanz’s office did have extensive input on the jail’s design. The architects met with officials in his office “to draw up initial floor plans for the jail,” states a 1996 Tulsa World story.

Another World story that year states: “The rough draft of the jail was drawn over a three-day period
at a workshop in Ponca City this week. Architects, county staff and sheriff’s officials hammered out a design which follows the guidelines of a pre-architectural plan drawn last year, but incorporates new features.”

During her testimony, Robinette discussed the differences in treatment between male and female juveniles in the jail. While the jail has housed up to six girls at once in the medical unit, she said it is “very rare” for girls to wind up in the jail.

“We could go as long as a year without having a female juvenile in our facility,” she said.

However records provided to The Frontier and its media partner, NewsOn6, show the jail has housed 24 girls since Jan. 1, 2015.

Robinette sketch 2.24.16

She said TCSO policies governing youthful offenders require specialized training, minimum experience and an officer of the same gender to enter a juvenile’s cell. However, those policies don’t apply to girls because they are not held in a youthful offender pod, she said.

Robinette took over in January after former Interim Sheriff Rick Weigel resigned. A grand jury indicted Glanz in September on two misdemeanors related to alleged corruption in his office.

Robinette agreed that assigning one detention officer to the medical unit— or single staffing — is unsafe. She was the chief deputy over the jail, supervising all jail operations, beginning in 2008.

“Isn’t it true that in February 2010, the medical unit was staffed with a single detention officer on 23 separate occasions?” Smolen asked.

Smolen referred Robinette to her deposition, in which she stated that “90 percent of the time” during February 2010, the medical unit was single staffed.

The plaintiff who filed the civil rights lawsuit said the assaults occurred while she was held in the jail from January through late April, 2010.

Testimony is expected to resume in the lawsuit Thursday with Robinette and other witnesses for the plaintiff.

Read related stories:

Jurors hear jailer plead Fifth about sex with teen inmate

Expert: Sheriff ‘maximized risk’ of sexual assault for girls in jail

Jurors in rape trial hear girl describe jailer’s sexual advances