A former Tulsa County Sheriff’s deputy recently charged with raping an 11-year-old girl was accused of sexually assaulting women while he worked for the sheriff’s office, an attorney said during a court hearing Tuesday.
However TCSO is fighting a subpoena for investigative and personnel records related to the former deputy, Joshua Randall Wood, saying producing them would violate Wood’s privacy and would be an “undue burden,” records show.
Attorneys for a woman involved in a domestic case with Wood sent a subpoena to the sheriff’s office July 27 for records including his personnel file, jail incident reports, investigative reports and “dead files” about Wood.
During a hearing in Tulsa County District Court Tuesday, attorney Dan Smolen said he is seeking any records related to sexual misconduct that was alleged while Wood worked at TCSO. Smolen represents a woman who has filed a police report alleging Wood molested her 5-year-old daughter.
Wood was hired as a detention officer in the Tulsa Jail in 2013 and became a deputy the following year. The Sheriff’s Office suspended him in November 2015 while it conducted an internal investigation for unspecified reasons and he resigned in January.
During the court hearing Tuesday, Wood was present but his attorney told Special Judge Stephen Clark he would not allow Wood to testify because of a pending felony case in Wagoner County.
Smolen told the judge he wanted Wood to answer questions about his employment at TCSO because it was relevant to the domestic case involving the girl.
“There were allegations that he was terminated for sexually assaulting women,” Smolen said.
He was interrupted by Wood’s attorney but added: “We need those records … for the past history if he’s had sexual ….”
Clark said due to an ongoing investigation by the Department of Human Services involving the 5-year-old girl and the pending criminal case against Wood involving another girl, he would delay holding any hearing in the domestic case.
In an email to The Frontier Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Sheriff Vic Regalado declined an interview request about Wood’s case.
“The TCSO is unaware of any allegations made against former employee Josh Wood regarding sexual contact with any female prisoner within the jail. As you are aware, Mr. Wood resigned pending an investigation by this agency,” the email states.
“An individual’s personnel file contains private and confidential information. This office does not routinely release such files. The TCSO will certainly cooperate with the court in this matter should any decision be made concerning Mr. Wood’s file.”
In the Tulsa County domestic case, a woman filed a report with Tulsa police about the alleged abuse involving her 5-year-old daughter on July 16. The woman said her daughter told her that Wood had exposed himself to her, “stuck his finger in her vagina and hurt her.”
The Frontier does not publish the names of victims of alleged sex crimes.
The woman requested an emergency protective order July 27, saying Wood continued to send her text messages about the victim.
The order was requested one day after Wood was arrested on allegations of raping the 11-year-old girl in Wagoner County. Wood has been released on bond in that case.
Though Wood has not been charged with crimes related to sexual abuse of women while he worked at TCSO, the dispute over his personnel file raises the issue of whether any evidence of such allegations exists.
On Friday, an attorney for TCSO filed a motion to quash the subpoena, saying it would be an “undue burden” on the agency to respond.
“Respondent’s request could literally include every piece of paper on which Mr. Wood’s name appears or is associated with in the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office therefore creating an undue burden,” states the motion.
Outside the courtroom, Smolen noted that Wood’s resignation came one month before a federal civil rights lawsuit was scheduled for trial. In that case, TCSO was sued over the alleged sexual assault of a teen-age girl held in the jail.
A jury found the sheriff’s office was deliberately indifferent to the plaintiff’s civil rights in that case.
Smolen said he has “an absolute obligation to this family and to this 5 year old child to be sure that all the information that’s out there is available to protect her from potential harm.”
“If in fact he was predatory when he was working at the Tulsa County Sheriff’s office that would clearly be relevant.”
Attorney Justin Rinck, who represents Wood in the Tulsa County domestic case, said he is unaware of the details of any internal investigation at TCSO.
“I do not know of the allegations at the sheriff’s office. The only thing I know is what has been reported in the news.”
When Wood was charged in Wagoner County with the alleged rape, TCSO released a batch of documents containing employment and disciplinary records.
Records show Wood was hired by the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office in March 2013 to work as a detention officer at the Tulsa Jail. The following year, records show Wood was transferred to work as a patrol deputy, receiving a raise of about $900 a month.
In November 2015, Wood was notified by then-undersheriff Rick Weigel that he was being placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation. No record was released detailing what sparked that investigation, nor the result, if any. However, six weeks after being placed on leave, Wood resigned, signing a form letter stating that he was leaving the sheriff’s office to “pursue other opportunities.”
That resignation came Jan. 11. Five months later, Wood found himself under investigation by the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office for the alleged rape of the 11-year-old, a crime for which he was ultimately charged in late July.
In that case Wood was accused of “rape by instrumentation,” allegedly asking the 11-year-old “if she knew about sex,” while the two were alone. When the girl replied no, Wood allegedly demonstrated a sex act on himself and on the girl, who later told a family member.
In the Wagoner County affidavit, the investigator noted that Tulsa Police had a simultaneous investigation into a different sex abuse allegation against Wood. Cpl. Greg Smith, who heads the child crimes unit at TPD, told The Frontier on Tuesday that their sex abuse investigation against Wood was “on standby.”
“We were looking into that, but so far we don’t have anything to show that something actually happened,” Smith said.
However, he said TPD had seized a computer from Wood’s residence and were looking to see if it contained any child pornography.
“We’re looking there for possession of child porn, and also if he does have child porn if any of that pornography involves one of the known children (involved in the prior allegations,” Smith said. “I can tell you if we don’t find any or pictures … then we’re pretty much done.”
The rape allegation is not the first legal issue Wood has faced. About six months after he was hired to work in the Tulsa Jail, Wood was served with a protective order from a woman who claimed Wood was stalking her, and that he “had a plan” that the woman would have “wait and see what he is going to do.”
The woman alleged in the order that Wood told her that he knew “plenty of policemen” through his work at the jail, and that she should “watch herself.”
That protective order was granted Sept. 17, 2013, and Wood was ordered by the court to stay 300 feet away from the plaintiff and her children at all times. Court records show the plaintiff requested the protective to be dismissed the following month.
That same plaintiff was granted another protective order against Wood this July just after Wood was charged in Wagoner with the 11-year-old’s alleged rape. That protective order pertained to the sex abuse allegations TPD has said they were investigating.