ARAPAHO, Okla. - In another case of life imitating art - the "art" in this case being an old episode of "Charlie's Angels" - Custer County Sheriff Michael Burgess resigned his position and turned himself in to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation after it was revealed that Burgess, while sheriff, had forced female inmates to blow him, have sex with him and engage in wet t-shirt contests for the enjoyment of Sheriff's Department employees.
Burgess had served as Sheriff since 1994. The crimes are alleged to have occurred between October 2005 and April 2007.
According to an Associated Press story , prosecutors in the State Attorney General's office have filed 35 felony charges against Burgess, including 14 counts of second-degree rape, seven counts of forcible oral sodomy and five counts of bribery by a public official - that last crime possibly having to do with the fact that some of the women were promised cigarettes if they'd flash their tits during the wet t-shirt contest.
Burgess has also been charged with two counts each of sexual battery, rape by instrumentation - we're guessing dildos or something similar were used - and subornation of perjury, and one count each of engaging in a pattern of criminal offenses, indecent exposure and kidnapping.
Burgess is also the defendant in a lawsuit filed by 12 former inmates, who claim they were made victims of various of the illegal acts, including "extreme sexual slavery, sexual battery, sodomy, rape and blackmail."
Burgess has been under suspicion since May, 2007, when a defendant in the Washita-Custer County drug court program told county investigators that Burgess forced her to have sex with him on a threat of sending her to prison. To avoid a conflict of interest, the Custer County District Attorney's office turned the investigation over to authorities in nearby Texas County.
In all, Burgess could receive as long as 467 years behind bars if found guilty on all counts, though District Attorney James Boring said that he expected that a lesser sentence would be imposed.
Burgess is free on $50,000 bond.