Norman woman faces sexual misconduct with detainee charges

A jury trial has been set for a Norman woman accused of sexual misconduct with a person who is subject to lawful detention or supervision.

Trista Alane Abdulbari, 39, faces charges of sexual misconduct by a service provider with a detainee, a Level 5 felony, and official misconduct, a Level 6 felony.

She was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 11:44 a.m. Wednesday and released at 2:53 p.m. Thursday. Her jury trial is currently scheduled for Jan. 30, 2024, in Jackson Circuit Court in Brownstown.

According to a probable cause filed Aug. 2, an Indiana State Police trooper assigned to the Versailles District was contacted July 11 about a possible sexual misconduct incident that occurred in Jackson County.

The next day, the trooper contacted Jackson-Jennings Community Corrections officers J.D. Woods and Joe Barnes.

They informed the trooper of an inappropriate relationship between Abdulbari, a custody officer, and Zackary Cole, who is on house arrest, reported by a woman who was a roommate with Abdulbari and works at community corrections with her, according to the probable cause.

Woods and Barnes were told about the relationship on July 8 and went to Cole’s residence on July 10, according to the probable cause.

When they arrived at the residence, they immediately identified Abdulbari’s car in the driveway and turned on their body cameras as they approached the house, according to the probable cause.

When they knocked on the door and identified themselves, Cole answered the door. The officers asked if anyone else was in the house, and Cole said there was a woman in the bedroom.

Woods reported he had went into the bedroom, looked around and found Abdulbari hiding in a closet with the door closed. Woods took her outside and immediately fired her for her actions, according to the probable cause.

On July 13, an investigating officer went to Cole’s residence and interviewed him. Cole said he sent a Facebook friend request to Abdulbari approximately two to three weeks after he was put on house arrest on May 1. She accepted the friend request, and they began talking with each other on Facebook and Snapchat and through texting, according to the probable cause.

When asked when their relationship became sexual, Cole said he and Abdulbari had sexual intercourse on either her second or third visit to his residence, which was a week before the officer interviewed Cole. Cole said Abdulbari had been to his residence a total of four times before Woods and Barnes showed up, according to the probable cause.

Later that same day, the investigating officer made contact with Abdulbari’s roommate, who said she was friends with Abdulbari because she went to school with her daughter. She said she and Abdulbari would share their locations with each other, and for several weeks before the incident occurred, Abdulbari turned off her locations for her roommate to see them.

When she asked Abdulbari about this, Abdulbari said she was seeing someone who could get her in a lot of trouble, according to the probable cause.

Abdulbari’s roommate told the officer she thought this may have been a one-time thing, but it turned out Abdulbari was actively talking and hanging out with someone on house arrest. Abdulbari finally told her it was Cole.

According to the probable cause, she stated one day, Abdulbari contacted her saying, “I did something, something just happened,” referring to having sexual intercourse with Cole. She also said Abdulbari would always go out to his residence when she knew community corrections staff was done for the day. Abdulbari’s roommate spoke about the situation with Barnes on July 8.

On July 14, the investigating officer went to Abdulbari’s house to interview her. She said she had been working at community corrections as a custody officer since August 2022 and knew Cole but did not begin communicating with him until he was moved to house arrest, according to the probable cause.

Abdulbari said her first visit to Cole’s residence was approximately four to six weeks after he was place on house arrest. Abdulbari said they only had sexual intercourse one time and that it happened at his residence.

According to the probable cause and investigation conducted by the officer, Abdulbari falls under the definition of public servant defined under 35-31.5-2-26.

Public servant means a person who is authorized to perform an official function on behalf of and is paid by a government entity. Abdulbari was a public servant when she was an employee of Jackson-Jennings Community Corrections.