Police Continue to Search for Man Suspected of Groping Women Near Mall

Jaime Hartness

Police think they have identified the man accused of groping women and exposing himself near Woodland Hills Mall.

Officers say people committing these crimes need to be stopped before they potentially advance to more aggressive sexual assaults.

"The unfortunate thing with sex crimes is there is a high recidivism rate for individuals that do commit sex crimes, whether they've sought treatment or not," said Officer Jillian Roberson with Tulsa Police.

She explained that there are treatments for sexual offenders or those struggling with similar problems both for those incarcerated and for those that are not. However, she said it is important to catch people committing these crimes before things get even more serious.

"That's exactly why we keep the sex offender registration and we have to keep track of these individuals, because that sexual desire is always there for them," said Officer Roberson.

Jaime Hartness, 32, is the man suspected of the sexual offenses near Woodland Hills Mall, police said. He is a registered sex offender from Carthage, Missouri. However, police did not have record of him relocating to Oklahoma even though that is a national requirement. He is facing four counts of sexual battery and three counts of indecent exposure.

This is the second groping investigation police have dealt with this year. Police arrested 24-year-old Brandon James for allegedly groping several women, including an 11-year-old girl.

Both police and a mental health officials said these kinds of problems can happen anywhere. Police said it is important to report any kind of groping or flashing incident a person may experience. They ask anyone with more information about Hartness to call Crimestoppers at (918) 596-Cops.