As criminal investigation continues, accuser dismisses protection order against John Woods

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Cleveland County Judge Nathaniel Hales presided over a protection order hearing on Thursday, September 2, 2021. (Tres Savage)

(Editor’s Note: The following article details an allegation of sexual assault.)

While the criminal investigation into her sexual assault allegation against former University of Oklahoma lobbyist John Woods remains active, Anissa Scott today asked a Cleveland County judge to dismiss the Temporary Protection Order granted against Woods on August 7.

“As a direct result of the incident on July 27, I experienced a flood of emotions and mental overload, in part because of a past trauma that I have experienced in my life,” Scott said in a commentary. statement provided to NonDoc after the hearing. “When I was in court on August 7, I was terrified and wanted to make sure Mr. Woods didn’t keep contacting me. Since that time I have sought advice and no longer have a working relationship with Mr. Woods. I am not currently concerned about retaliation, nor about my safety. “

John woods
John Woods is the former Director of Government Affairs for the University of Oklahoma, the former Director of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust and the former CEO of the Norman Chamber of Commerce. (TSET)

Woods, who did not attend Thursday’s hearing, resigned from the OU on August 20, the same day as news of the Temporary Protection Order, which Judge Nathaniel Hales granted to Scott on August 7 August.

Scott filed a police report and wrote in the request for protection order that Woods sexually assaulted her in a parking lot on July 27, subsequently sent her a video of himself masturbating, then added it to a group text, claiming that she “likes it brutal and wanted to join the group.”

Scott, who has known Woods for years, said she used his Brazilian jiu-jitsu training in response to the assault and that Woods didn’t stop “until I made him almost unconscious.” .

Woods’ attorney Steven Stice said he advised his client not to comment on the case and believed Scott “was reluctant to take a stand and tell this story under oath.”

“His allegations are about videotapes, text messages and that sort of thing,” Stice said. “To date, we haven’t seen them. We don’t think they exist.

Scott said the masturbation video and text messages certainly existed, but that she “deleted everything and blocked it from my whole phone” in the aftermath of the alleged assault, which she said was the real problem. .

“I don’t even care about text messages. It’s the assault. The assault is the thing that bothers me, ”Scott said. “The events that followed were just mind-boggling, but the aggression itself is why we are here.”

If Scott had asked to uphold the protective order on Thursday, any remarks she made to the judge could have been cross-examined by Stice, but Woods would not have been required to attend or to answer questions. Scott said she did not want to jeopardize the criminal investigation.

“When someone gets a hold of me and I say ‘No’ to them and they keep pushing them, that’s the reason that brought me here,” Scott said.

OR: “The university has not been contacted” by the police

Anissa Scott, left, reviews a statement she wanted to make to the media after a court hearing in Cleveland County on Thursday, September 2, 2021. Liz George, right, represented Scott for a protective order qu ‘she received and then voluntarily dismissed against the former college employee of Oklahoma, John Woods. (Very Wild)

The position of the criminal investigation depends on who you ask, and neither Norman Police Department Information Officer nor Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn returned the calls Thursday to seek clarification before the publication of this article.

Scott said she understood the NDP detective investigating the case had passed information to the Mashburn office to decide whether or not to lay criminal charges.

Stice said he believed the NDP had yet to turn the matter over to Mashburn.

“It will, and I am sure Mr. Mashburn will examine it in light of all the evidence that exists or does not exist,” Stice said.

When asked if Woods had been questioned by Norman police, Stice was elusive.

“I’m not going to comment at the moment whether or not he has it right now in regards to the investigation, in regards to the criminal side,” Stice said. “We are cooperating with the police.”

When asked if Woods had been interviewed by OU investigators prior to his resignation, Stice replied, “I don’t believe there were any OU investigators.”

On August 20, OU vice president of marketing and communications Mackenzie Dilbeck said the university “immediately began an administrative investigation” after Scott alerted OU officials to the conduct of Woods.

“We learned about these allegations which we take very seriously, so we immediately began an internal investigation of our employee,” Dilbeck said at the time, adding that the OU’s investigation into the situation “is over. “.

When asked on August 20 if the OU’s investigation revealed any additional allegations against Woods, Dilbeck replied, “I can’t comment on this.”

Scott said Thursday she reported the incident to OU officials, but said she expected to speak with OU investigators in a follow-up conversation. She said that did not happen.

Asked Thursday about Stice and Scott’s statements regarding the extent to which OU has investigated the situation, Dilbeck said Woods and Scott spoke with university officials.

“The university’s investigation into the allegations against Mr. Woods was conducted by his supervisor’s office. Mr. Woods and Ms. Scott have spoken to those responsible for the investigation, ”said Dilbeck. “After the conclusion of the university investigation, OU has no indication that an allegation about Mr. Woods involved academic activity or individuals. The OU has made it clear to local law enforcement that we remain available to cooperate if necessary, but to date the university has not been contacted.

OU put Woods on paid administrative leave on August 6 and resigned 14 days later. When asked why Woods chose to quit if he hadn’t done anything wrong, Stice said he believed the decision was “personal in nature.”

“He felt it was in his best interest with all things around his personal life,” Stice said. “He has a family, he has a wife, he has children and he loves the institution, and he doesn’t want to hurt OU at all with what happened with this situation.”

Woods previously worked for U.S. Representative Tom Cole (R-OK4), the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the Norman Chamber of Commerce and the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust.

“Criminal allegations of a sexual nature”

Stice said Scott’s decision to voluntarily dismiss the protection order supported his client’s claim of innocence.

“I think today speaks volumes – his reluctance to speak up and answer questions under oath. I think that says a lot about the veracity of his claims, ”Stice said. “Now we’re going to have to see how it goes with the criminal charges, which to me are the most important aspect of what’s left or what this whole situation is about.”

Stice said Scott “made criminal allegations of a sexual nature which did not occur.”

“And today she had a perfect opportunity to present that and present the video evidence that she said she existed, which she wrote in her petition,” he said. “She had the opportunity to explain how Mr. Woods’ wife harassed her further, which she wrote in the petition (…) She had every opportunity to do so today, and she refused. “

Lawyer Liz George represented Scott at Thursday’s hearing, which reportedly determined whether to extend the temporary protective order the judge had granted in emergency circumstances.

“Our dismissal today is by no means a retraction of the original allegations that gave rise to the original emergency order,” George told the court. “I just want to make it clear that this is just a voluntary termination regardless of the original OPV that was legally granted.”

After Thursday’s hearing, Scott provided NonDoc with a prepared statement that she had considered reading in court.

I initially requested and received an Emergency Protection Order when I testified in court on August 7 about the underlying assault as well as subsequent contact with Mr. Woods and his wife. As I have already testified in court, luckily I was able to defend myself using my martial arts training.

However, as a direct result of the incident on July 27, I experienced a flood of emotions and mental overload, in part due to a past trauma that I have experienced in my life. When I appeared in court on August 7, I was terrified and wanted to make sure Mr. Woods did not continue to contact me. Since that time I have sought advice and no longer have a working relationship with Mr. Woods. I am not currently concerned about retaliation, nor for my safety. Due to the actions I took on August 7th, I believe Mr. Woods understands and will no longer attempt to contact me.

Emergency OPV provided the protection I needed to become stronger mentally and physically, and I thank the court for giving me a voice at one of my weakest times. The temporary OPV gave me the strength to reject, as I no longer need an OPV, and I asked the court to dismiss the case (protective order).

George said the parties had discussed the possibility of reaching “an agreed resolution” on the protection order, but his client did not want to be silenced.

“There were discussions about trying to come to a mutually agreed-upon resolution,” said George, “but my client ultimately decided she wanted to stay in control and she wanted it to be. his completely voluntary dismissal without anyone telling him. What to do.”

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Scott said she provided Norman police with as much evidence and detail as possible about the events of July 27.

“I gave them all my information. At this point, it’s not my expertise or my knowledge of what law enforcement does or doesn’t do, and so I don’t want to try to influence (them) in any way. Scott said. “I was worried about future victims, so I wanted to make sure people were aware of what happened. “

Stice said he recognizes the difficult position the OU faces upon receiving a report on the allegation.

“Unfortunately, we live in a world where these accusations alone put institutions in a difficult position,” Stice said. “I think the university should have waited at least until today or to see if any criminal charges have been presented and accepted by the district attorney’s office before putting him on administrative leave. I understand why they did it. They have to ensure the integrity of the university, and I appreciate that.

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