OSBI conducting interviews, looking at social media in Bixby sexual assault investigation
It’s been a tight-lipped, long week for Bixby Public School officials. Bixby police and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation are investigating four Bixby High School football players for allegedly sexually assaulting a teammate.
“This is a type one crime. This is a violent crime. This is a sexual assault on a minor, perhaps by a minor,” said Jessica Brown, with OSBI.
Brown said the Bixby Police Department asked for OSBI’s help last Thursday and they’ve been assisting ever since.
“Part of what we do is we’re an independent third party, that’s why we investigate a lot of office-involved shootings,” said Brown.
According to Brown, they investigate roughly a dozen cases each year involving schools, but this one is a little unusual because it’s potentially a minor assaulting another minor.
“We don’t investigate an abundance of those types of cases, the cases that we investigate dealing with schools is typically a teacher-student relationship that is inappropriate,” said Brown.
Information has been scarce. Bixby police released a police report to Tulsa's Channel 8 earlier in the week. It lists the ages of the minors involved and the neighborhood where the incident occurred but not the exact address of where the sexual assault happened. That information is up to police to release.
“They don’t have to, open records does not say they have to give the exact location, so that’s a question for them,” said Brown.
Not long after the incident, school officials held a private meeting. Through an open records request, Tulsa's Channel 8 learned who was at the meeting and who wasn't. Superintendent Kyle Woods was not at the meeting but we don't know why. School officials didn't return a request for comment Thursday.
Brown said investigators will look everywhere for information, including interviews with people and social media, hopefully reassuring parents that even though the investigation may take weeks, the case is being handled.
“I want to press upon people in that area, we’ve been there. We’ve been there since day one and we will investigate extremely thoroughly,” said Brown.
OSBI will hand over their completed investigation to the district attorney's office. Tulsa County DA Steve Kunzweiler released a statement earlier this week, saying his office won't get involved unless law enforcement hands over a report.
The Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office does not get involved unless a law enforcement report is delivered to our office for review. Our Office would necessarily recuse itself from review of any investigation if it is determined that a victim is connected to a member of our staff.
Child abuse investigations are particularly sensitive cases for victims, and confidentiality should be protected in every instance.