OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma jail inmate, after being booked into jail, was able to leave the booking area unsupervised and raped a handcuffed female inmate who was awaiting release, according to charges filed Thursday.
The victim “was handcuffed to a bar attached to a wall in the receiving area of the Oklahoma County jail and unable to escape” when Donta Ramone Thomas, 44, was able to remove her pants and rape her on July 19, according to charging documents submitted by District Attorney David Prater.
Jail surveillance video of the incident showed Thomas ignored orders to stand with his back to the wall and wait for other inmates to be processed after he was booked into jail on assault charges.
“Thomas disregarded these instructions and walked away from the area,” according to an affidavit. “He walked down the hallway toward the old medical screening area, where (the victim) was sitting, handcuffed to a bar.”
The video showed Thomas eventually groping the woman, forcing her to stand, then raping her, the affidavit stated.
Court documents say a warrant for Thomas’ arrest has been issued, but jail records do not show that he was in custody as of Friday afternoon.
The court documents do not list an attorney who could speak on Thomas’ behalf and the attorney who represented him on the previous assault charges did not return a phone call for comment.
The incident is the latest at the jail, where a nine-member trust took over the jail from the sheriff’s office in 2020, tasked with managing its operation and finances. Oklahoma County’s Board of Commissioners unanimously approved of the trust the previous year.
“This is yet another example of the jail trust’s complete disregard for those they are responsible for protecting,” Prater said in a text to The Associated Press.
Since taking over jail operations, the trust has come under fire because of inmate deaths, escapes and other incidents. Those incidents include cruelty charges against two former jail employees and a supervisor after investigators found they forced inmates to stand handcuffed for hours and listen to the children’s song “Baby Shark” on repeat.
The criticism intensified after an inmate was shot and killed by police after taking a detention officer hostage last year.