© 2021
In touch with the world ... at home on the High Plains
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Former Oklahoma police officer first to be found guilty under renewed Violence Against Women Act

Bill Oxford

A federal jury found Jeffrey Scott Smith Jr. guilty of violating the civil rights of a woman by sexually assaulting her in 2022 during a traffic stop in Savanna, Okla. The previous maximum penalty for the count was 10 years, but Congress’s decision to renew and update the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 enhanced penalties for civil rights offenses involving sexual misconduct.

In a press release, the Justice Department Civil Rights Division’s Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke called the case “historic” and said the Justice Department will hold law enforcement workers accountable when they abuse their authority by engaging in sexual misconduct.

Smith is also facing up to 20 years for two counts of obstruction of justice for turning off his body cam and dash cam prior to the assault.

KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donateonline, or by contacting our Membership department.

Copyright 2024 KGOU. To see more, visit KGOU.

Hannah France