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As lawsuit expands, lawyers request youth be removed from Juvenile Center

The Tulsa County Family Center for Juvenile Justice is seen.
Max Bryan
/
KWGS News
The Tulsa County Family Center for Juvenile Justice is seen.

Lawyers for youth detained in the Tulsa County Family Center for Juvenile Justice are asking a Muskogee federal judge to remove their clients from the facility while a suit accusing detention officers of sexual assault remains in litigation.

Originally filed in May, the lawsuit accuses more than 20 county juvenile bureau employees of using their positions to either sexually abuse or harass 30 youth in the center since 2019. It also accuses the Tulsa County Commissioners and the state Office of Juvenile Affairs of failing to stop the situation.

Two of the defendants — detention officers Jonathan Hines and Dquan Doyle — have been arrested for sex crimes allegedly committed in the center. Prosecutors accused Hines of having sex with a teenager inside a cell and Doyle of giving a youth vape pens in exchange for sexual acts along with showing the teenager inappropriate pictures.

The new request for an injunction was filed June 26. It asks that the youth be moved to house arrest to keep them from further harassment. According to court papers, an employee blamed multiple detainees for Hines’ arrest “and further attempted to intimidate the residents into remaining silent as to their personal knowledge of this, and other abuses.”

That officer is also accused of calling one of the youth who Hines allegedly raped a “whore.”

Attorneys also accuse one of the detention officers of telling a public defender that Hines’ alleged victim “got what he bargained for.”

“Many juvenile residents at the Juvenile Detention Center are either named Plaintiffs, victims, or eyewitnesses to the unchecked atrocities that have occurred at the Juvenile Detention Center for years,” the injunction states. “Continued coercive behavior and interactions by Defendants towards the juvenile residents at the Juvenile Detention Center is, simply put, witness intimidation, witness tampering, and certainly will have the effect of chilling disclosures from these children. A preliminary injunction is necessary to stop this irreparable harm pending final resolution of this case.”

More accusations filed

Attorneys amended the original lawsuit to accuse the Board of County Commissioners, the county juvenile bureau and the Office of Juvenile Affairs of additional negligence.

The new allegations say county officials “did nothing to change the policies, procedures, or culture of the Juvenile Detention Center or otherwise take action to protect” the youth in the center after hearing about Hines’ alleged actions in April.

County commissioners have argued state law does not give them authority to take direct action on personnel matters in the center. When asked for comment on the new allegations, County Commissioners spokesperson Laurie Lee reiterated that Tulsa County’s juvenile bureau oversees the center and answers to the district’s juvenile judge.

“Tulsa County Commissioners do NOT have direct oversight of the Juvenile Justice Facility,” Lee said in an email.

The lawsuit says the commissioners were briefed in 2023 when the center was on probation for being out of compliance with Office of Juvenile Affairs standards. Email correspondence also shows a deputy commissioner made recommendations for improvements to Judge Kevin Gray, who by statute oversees the county juvenile bureau and the center.

Lee said “it’s not that steps aren’t being taken by the county,” but noted that the case is under pending litigation. She also said she hopes to release more information about the situation “in the very near future.”

Public Radio Tulsa has reached out to Juvenile Judge Kevin Gray for comment.

In May, the Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice called for an independent investigation of the facility following Hines’ arrest.

Max Bryan is a news anchor and reporter for KWGS. A Tulsa native, Bryan worked at newspapers throughout Arkansas and in Norman before coming home to "the most underrated city in America." Several of Bryan's news stories have either led to or been cited in changes both in the public and private sectors.