Former Savanna cop takes federal plea deal in sex assault case

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MUSKOGEE, Okla. (KXII) -- Jerry Lynn Gragg, 40, a former police officer with the Savanna Police Department in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Muskogee to one count of violating the civil rights of a female whom he sexually assaulted during a routine traffic stop.

According to court documents, on Jan. 21 Gragg, was working when he stopped a vehicle during the early hours of the morning while it was still dark outside.

After approaching the vehicle, Gragg brought the female driver back to his marked patrol unit and directed her to sit in the front passenger seat. Given the coercive power of Gragg’s position as a law enforcement offer, and the physical disparity in size between Gragg and the victim, she could not escape from the patrol car.

Thereafter, Gragg caused the victim to perform a sexual act on him against her will. Gragg admitted that he knew what he was doing was wrong and against the law, yet he did so anyway.

Gragg further admitted that his acts included aggravated sexual abuse which, under federal law, requires force or putting the victim in fear of bodily injury, kidnapping, or death.

“The Department of Justice will not tolerate law enforcement officers who exploit their authority to sexually abuse individuals in their custody, thinking their actions will go without consequence because of the power they wield,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John M. Gore. “The Civil Rights Division will continue to vigorously prosecute these cases.”

The terms of the plea agreement require Gragg to forfeit his law enforcement certification and comply with federal and state sex offender registration requirements.

A sentencing hearing has not been set.

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