Former Marshall County detention officer facing charges for rape

Sierra Rains
The Daily Ardmoreite

A former Marshall County Detention Officer is facing charges for rape following a year and a half long investigation into her alleged relationship with a former inmate. 

Marshall County Sheriff Danny Cryer said the sheriff’s office started an investigation in January 2019 after receiving information that 28-year-old Jennifer Marie Marler of Madill was allegedly involved in an intimate relationship with 47-year-old Eric William Roberts of Bristow, who was an inmate under her supervision at the time. 

“How it started was other than just rumors and reports, the inmate was talking on cell phones,” Cryer said. The former detention officer and Roberts had allegedly been communicating via a contraband cell phone, which Marler had failed to report. 

Once he had enough information to confirm the allegations, Cryer said he terminated Marler and handed the investigation over to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. On June 17, 2020 the OSBI issued arrest warrants for both the former detention officer and the inmate involved. 

Cryer said all detention officers go through a training where it is explained in “great detail” that inmates cannot give consent to any type of relationship. 

“She had authority over him and state law is very clear that if you are in charge of any inmate who is in the custody of the state or the county, the inmate cannot legally give consent,” Cryer said. 

According to Oklahoma State Statute, rape is defined as “an act of sexual intercourse involving vaginal or anal penetration accomplished with a male or female who is not the spouse of the perpetrator and who may be of the same or opposite sex as the perpetrator,” under any of eight possible circumstances. 

The seventh circumstance listed in state law is “where the victim is under the legal custody or supervision of a state agency, a federal agency, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision and engages in sexual intercourse with a state, federal, county, municipal or political subdivision employee or an employee of a contractor of the state, the federal government, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision that exercises authority over the victim.” 

Marler is facing charges for one felony count of second degree rape and one felony count of accessory to possession of contraband in jail. A bench warrant with a bond amount of $49,000 has been issued for her arrest. 

“She knew what she was getting into and made that choice and these are the consequences that stem from that choice,” Cryer said. 

Roberts is facing felony charges for possession of a cell phone or electronic device in a penal institution. A bench warrant with a bond amount of $60,000 has been issued for his arrest. 

According to Creek County court documents, Roberts is a former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper and he was convicted for multiple charges involving sexual assault to several women in 2016. Roberts’ prior convictions include sexual battery, procuring indecent exposure, soliciting prostitution, two counts of an officer asking for or receiving bribes and three counts of embezzlement.