GUTHRIE — A former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper charged with rape turned off his car camera and had sexual contact with an intoxicated woman in his patrol car after pulling her over for suspicion of driving under the influence, according to an affidavit.
Patrick Venable, 27, is accused of taking the woman into custody on the Broadway Extension in Oklahoma City at 4:35 a.m. June 20 and then driving her to her house in Guthrie to have sex. Venable was charged in Logan County on Tuesday with second-degree rape. Venable, who has quit the patrol, said the sex was consensual. He plans to plead not guilty.
According to a probable cause affidavit released Wednesday, Venable began his shift at 8 p.m. June 19, and his shift was scheduled to end at 6 a.m. June 20.
Venable told patrol investigators he was on duty and traveling north on Broadway Extension when he noticed a car “all over the road.” He said he pulled over the car near the Kilpatrick Turnpike. He said he detected an odor of alcohol and suspected the woman was intoxicated.
The trooper told the woman to have a seat in his patrol car.
Recorder turned off
He said he began to question her and at some point turned off the in-car camera because “he did not want a DUI stop recorded where he did not know what he was going to do,” according to the affidavit.
A highway patrol lieutenant later collected the in-car recorder compact discs, which showed the car recorder turn off when Venable and the woman got in the car, according to the affidavit.
Venable said her speech was slurred and her eyes “were a wreck.” He said he had arrested several hundred people for DUI and, based on this experience, thought the woman's blood alcohol concentration would be close to 0.15 — higher than the legal limit of 0.008.
He said he felt the woman was so intoxicated that he did not need to perform sobriety tests, according to the affidavit.
The woman, interviewed Aug. 4, admitted she was intoxicated and said there was sexual contact in the trooper's car.
At some point in the conversation, the two became friendly, and Venable told the woman she was pretty and she returned a compliment, he told investigators.
Venable told investigators he thought the woman realized she was not going to jail, but he said he did not make any deals about keeping her from going to jail in exchange for sex.
At first, he told the woman she was not free to leave but later said she could leave after the conversation became friendly. Venable changed his mind again and said he would not let her go unless a ride picked her up, according to the affidavit.
The woman told Venable she had no one to pick her up, so he decided to drive her to her house. The two had sexual contact during the drive to Guthrie in his patrol car, according to the affidavit.
He told investigators that the woman would have been free to leave when they arrived at the residence, but also said it was possible she thought she was not free to leave because he was a person of authority.
His attorney, Carl Hughes, said he's known Venable for years and his dream was to become a trooper.
“He was one of those guys that had the potential to be a hero every day,” he said.
Hughes said no crime was committed because Venable never arrested the woman or took her into custody. He said Venable will plead not guilty to the charge.
Sex called consensual
After the two arrived at the residence, Venable said they went to her bedroom and had sex. He said the sexual contact was “100 percent consensual,” according to the affidavit.
The woman told investigators she did not remember anything that happened after the two arrived at her residence. She also said she felt she was in custody from the time the trooper told her to get out of the car until he left her residence.
Venable said she was conscious the entire time. He said he didn't force himself on her or rape her.
Investigators said the woman told her sister-in-law that, when she woke up at her house, she didn't remember much of what happened.
The woman's attorney, Irven Box, said she wasn't ever booked into the jail and doesn't foresee any charges being filed against her for driving under the influence of alcohol.
“She's a lady of courage and at a risk of public scrutiny, she's come forward,” he said. “She was really apprehensive against charges being filed against the trooper.”
Patrol Col. Kerry Pettingill said Venable resigned June 29. An unidentified male made an anonymous call to the agency June 26, claiming he knew a trooper with the badge number 730 who stopped an intoxicated female and had sex with her, according to the affidavit.
Venable's next Logan County court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 22.