***Updated on 6/18***
A former Marshall County Detention Officer, identified as Jennifer Marler-Bridgeman, is facing Rape charges after evidence surfaced about an intimate relationship with an inmate. This case originally began in January 2019 when the Marshall County Sheriff Danny Cryer received information of the alleged affair.
Cryer said at the time of the accusation, Marler-Bridgeman was a Detention Officer, and it was rumored she was having an intimate relationship with Eric Roberts, who was an inmate under her supervision at the time.
Cryer said he launched an investigation, and once he had sufficient evidence to back up the allegations, he terminated Marler-Bridgeman. He also contacted the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations and requested they take over the investigation.
On June 17, 2020, a year and a half after Cryer handed over the investigation, the OSBI issued warrants for both of the parties involved.
Cryer said that because Roberts was under the supervision of Marler-Bridgeman, and she was in a position of authority at the time of the relationship, it stiffened the punishment.
“The law is very clear that any type of sexual relationship [between officer and inmate] is a violation of the law,” Cryer said.
Title 21 Section 1123 of the Oklahoma Statutes, Chapter 45 – Rape states “It is a felony for any person to knowingly and intentionally commit rape.” It also states the crime cannot be “committed by a state, county, municipal or political subdivision employee or a contractor or an employee of a contractor of the state, a county, a municipality or political subdivision of this state upon a person who is under the legal custody, supervision or authority of a state agency, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision of this state, or the subcontractor or employee of a subcontractor of the contractor of the state or federal government, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision of this state.”
Rape is defined legally as “an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a male or female who is the spouse of the perpetrator if force or violence is used or threatened, accompanied by apparent power of execution to the victim or to another person.”
Marler-Bridgeman, a 28-year-old female from Madill is facing charges for Second-Degree Rape, and Acessory for Possession of Contraband in a Jail.
Roberts, a 47-year-old male from Bristow is facing charges for Bringing Contraband into a Jail/Penal Institution. An online search showed Roberts is a former Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper who was convicted in 2016 for Sexual Battery, two convictions for Officer Asking for/Receiving Bribes, three convictions for Embezzlement, and Procuring Indecent Exposure, and Soliciting Prostitution.
He was facing three additional charges for rape, because three women accused him of trading sexual favors for leniency on traffic tickets and warrants. Those charges were dropped. When the relationship between Marler-Bridgeman and Roberts occurred, he was a DOC contract inmate being housed in the Marshall County Jail.
Follow The Madill Record for updates as this story progresses.