From the desk of

Ryan Coventon

Former Oklahoma County Jail Sergeant Sentenced for Kidnapping in Sexual Battery Case

Ryan Coventon - Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A former Oklahoma County jail sergeant who was fired in February 2016 for an inappropriate interaction with Moore police in February 2016 has been sentenced to one year in prison in an unrelated case. 

That same year, Antonio Sharp, 34, came under investigation after three female co-workers at the Oklahoma County Jail alleged that the sergeant had made inappropriate comments to them and sexually assaulted them inside his office at the jail.

The three women, a detention deputy and two detention officers, said that Sharp held them against their will, preventing them from leaving his office, as he made inappropriate and nonconsensual sexual contact with them. The first incident occurred mid-2013, when one woman says that on several occasions, he "made inappropriate contact of sexual nature to her" and grabbed her breast. Another of his accusers says that in November 2015, Sharp grabbed her hair and made sexual comments to her on two separate occasions. Finally, in December 2015, only a couple of months before he was fired for his interaction with Moore police outside a bar, Sharp reportedly cornered the third woman inside his office, making inappropriate advances toward her, attempting to remove her coat and pulling up her shirt against her will.

Originally, Sharp was charged with three counts of sexual battery, which seem appropriate to the allegations in the case. However, a sexual battery conviction would land the former Sheriff's department sergeant with mandatory sex offender registration. As part of a plea agreement, Sharp pleaded guilty instead to one count of kidnapping and two counts of assault with intent to commit kidnapping in the case.

While we typically think of the stereotypical "kidnapping" case as someone being violently abducted and taken off to an undisclosed location, in truth, kidnapping refers to detaining anyone against his or her will and not letting them leave. In the cases above, Sharp admitted in his plea paperwork that he confined one woman against her will and that he attempted to hold the other two women against their will.

While sexual battery is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, it also carries mandatory sex offender registration. Kidnapping, on the other hand, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, yet it is not accompanied by sex offender registration. Assault with intent to commit kidnapping carries up to 5 years in prison.

Despite the severity of the allegations against him, Sharp was sentenced in accordance with his plea agreement to one year in prison followed by four years of probation.

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