People in St. Louis, Missouri, should be aware that individuals in any profession and any stage of life may find themselves accused of criminal sexual conduct. This has been made clear in Missouri after a retired law enforcement officer has been charged with sexual abuse.
A former Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper has been charged with first-degree felony child molestation and third-degree misdemeanor assault. According to an investigator, an underage girl reported that the former trooper had engaged in inappropriate contact with her on several occasions. Another girl reported a similar story.
Even though the officer's case is being hears in a county courtroom, the local prosecutor is not handling the case. Rather, the Missouri attorney general's office is handling the filing of charges and the prosecution. This is because the former trooper patrolled the area including and worked with the local prosecutor's office during his career with the Missouri State Patrol between 1964 and 1997.
He turned himself in at the county sheriff's department and was later released on $5,000 bond.
Unfortunately, there is potential for the man to receive an unfair trial as the result of his former profession. As a person who spent so many years protecting Missouri, the public's view of him may have changed in an instant. As such, people may be ready to rush to judgment even before the trial begins.
Vigilance during jury selection, a critical view of evidence presented and thorough examination of prosecution witnesses, including police witnesses are all components of thoughtful criminal defenses A strong defense is necessary in these kinds of cases in order to avoid the potentially severe consequences that such charges can bring.
Source: The Joplin Globe, "Longtime state trooper facing felony charge," Jeff Lehr, Oct. 10, 2012