A defense attorney said Friday that the juvenile petitions filed in October against four former Bixby football players accused of raping a then-teammate in 2017 are now resolved.
But the Rogers County District Attorney contested that claim in a statement Friday night, saying the “selective” information provided “was intended to mislead and deceive.”
District Attorney Matt Ballard’s office initially filed a youthful offender case in Tulsa County District Court against Colten Cable, Samuel Lakin, William Henry Thomas and Joe Wood on allegations they committed second-degree rape by assaulting the teammate with a pool cue.
Tulsa County Special Judge April Seibert granted the teens’ attorneys motions for juvenile certification, which resulted in each being named in separate petitions at the Juvenile Bureau in Tulsa County.
Brett Swab, Cable’s attorney, told the Tulsa World on Friday evening that he’s pleased with the result of what a judge handed down this week for each of the former players. He declined to comment on whether the resolution was pursuant to the teens’ completion of treatment programs or whether the case had been dismissed on evidence-related grounds.
“This case should have been in the juvenile system from the outset and finally when the facts and evidence was presented in the proper forum the right resolution happened,” Swab said. “My client has taken responsibility for his actions and is looking forward to putting this behind him and focusing on his future.”
Ballard, in his statement, said “The reports circulating in the media that the case was dismissed are very misleading. This case is being handled within the confines of the juvenile system and I must respect the privacy of those proceedings and I am therefore unable to comment further.”
Rogers County received the case by assignment from the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office after the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office recused itself due to the reported victim’s relationship with the agency. The teen, 16 at the time of the incident in September 2017, testified against his former teammates during a preliminary hearing about being attacked at the home of Wood’s father, then-Superintendent Kyle Wood.
Kyle Wood resigned his post effective Dec. 19, 2017, and is eligible to receive his retirement benefits from the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System.
Another teammate said during the preliminary hearing that the incident was at least partially captured on Snapchat video. Seibert, in granting juvenile status last year, said she determined Rogers County prosecutors didn’t present adequate evidence to show the teens wouldn’t successfully complete a treatment program monitored by the Office of Juvenile Affairs.
Swab said the records will remain sealed and was pleased the case reached a positive resolution.