Before Tim Lohmar’s Resignation, Victim Sought Special Prosecutor

The St. Charles County Prosecutor handled two cases involving the same O’Fallon woman

May 18, 2023 at 8:42 am
click to enlarge Tim Lohmar being interviewed.
Former St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar in a previous interview.

In the months leading up to former St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar's abrupt resignation, his office pursued prosecution in two cases where judges later appointed special prosecutors due to a conflict of interest between Lohmar and the alleged victim.

That alleged victim in both cases, who the RFT is not naming, is a 38-year-old O’Fallon woman. The cases were transferred away from Lohmar’s office in November and December.

Lohmar resigned March 31 after 10 years on the job, saying he wanted to go into private practice and that he could no longer “give this job the energy and attention it requires.”

A source familiar with the St. Charles County Circuit Court tells the RFT he thinks that this was a “cover story.” The timing of the two cases requiring special prosecutors and Lohmar's resignation have led to intense speculation, though any direct connection between the two events has yet to surface.

Lohmar, 49, did not respond to several messages seeking comment about the reasons for the two cases’ transfer or the nature of the conflict of interest.

The first case, in which the O’Fallon woman accused an ex-boyfriend of repeated sexual assaults, has since been dropped entirely, wiping most court records related to it. 

However, the RFT has obtained partial court records from the case, along with incident reports provided by the O’Fallon Police in response to a Sunshine law request.

Those records show that the woman accused her ex-boyfriend of slapping her across the face and choking her during what began as consensual sexual encounters in October and December of 2020. She contacted the police almost a year later, in October of 2021, after the two broke up.

Police had previously been called several times to the woman’s home over domestic violence allegations, records show. In a statement made to police after one incident, the ex-boyfriend accused the woman of “erratic behavior” and “mental health issues” and said that at no point did he “strike her, push her, harm her, nor threaten her in any way whatsoever.” 

Responding to the sexual assault allegation, in November 2021, police filed a probable cause statement to be forwarded to Lohmar’s office. Seven months later, in June, the officer noted that prosecutors had refused the case.

They weren’t alone. The woman also approached authorities in Camden County, in the Lake of the Ozarks, alleging sexual assault by the same ex-boyfriend. The sheriff's office there found "no evidence of a crime that occurred in Camden County” and did not press charges.

The woman had apparently been desperate to see charges brought. According to an April 2022 police report, she made a comment that she “would kill herself if case not prosocuted [sic].” She later denied to police that she’d made suicidal statements. 

But something changed after St. Charles County’s initial denial of the case. Nearly one year after the woman brought the case to O’Fallon police, in September 2022, prosecutors in Lohmar's office filed 10 felony counts against the woman’s ex-boyfriend. 

Several sources tell the RFT that Lohmar personally brought the case to the grand jury.

Just two months later, the case was transferred out of Lohmar’s office. 

A court document obtained by the RFT shows that, last November, a special prosecutor in St. Louis County was appointed to handle the case instead. According to the partial court filings, the alleged victim initiated the request for a special prosecutor because she "believes there is a conflict of interest.” 

Three months later, in February of this year, the special prosecutor dropped the case. 

According to Chris King, the spokesperson for St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell, Bell’s office ultimately declined to pursue charges because it "was not a prosecutable case."

When asked if Bell’s office knew of the nature of the conflict Lohmar had in the case, King replied that judges appoint special prosecutors, so any communication about the conflict would have been between Lohmar and the court in St. Charles.

A clerk for Judge Michael Fagras, who wrote the order for the special prosecutor, said no additional information could be given about the nature of the conflict. 

The second case concerned an assault that the same 38-year-old O'Fallon woman alleged had occurred after a Christmas party at Ameristar Casino in 2020.

A person involved with the Ameristar Casino case tells the RFT that Lohmar had personally been involved in prosecuting it. St. Charles County Judge Daniel Pelikan concluded that Lohmar’s office should no longer handle the case, and transferred it to St. Louis County.

The assault at Ameristar allegedly happened in the early hours of December 26, 2020. According to the probable cause statement, the victim was hanging out with a group of friends in a room in the hotel attached to the casino. While the victim was on the bed, another woman in the group allegedly attacked her, first with her fist and then with a high-heeled boot. 

A court document shows that the Ameristar charge was originally filed in municipal court by the St. Charles City prosecutor. 

The document shows that on February 10, 2021, the municipal case was then withdrawn by St. Charles City Prosecuting Attorney Don Kohl. The paperwork says that the withdrawal was so that it could be forwarded to circuit court — Lohmar’s jurisdiction as prosecutor.

Kohl did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Court records show that Lohmar's office then filed a misdemeanor assault charge in April 2021. However, last December — more than a year and a half after Lohmar’s office brought charges — Judge Pelikan appointed a special prosecutor in the case and tried to have it transferred to St. Louis County. The stated reason, according to court documents: "the St. Charles Prosecutor's Office has a conflict with [the victim].

Pelikan tells the RFT he was not told the nature of Lohmar’s conflict, but asked for a special prosecutor after being told by prosecutors there was “some kind of conflict.”

St. Louis County declined to take the case because, according to a spokesperson for Wesley Bell's office, someone "integral to the case" had previously filed a Bar complaint against one of the county's assistant prosecutors.

Bell’s spokesperson declined to comment on whether Bell’s office had been informed of the nature of Lohmar’s conflict in that case as well.

It is unknown exactly when St. Louis County declined to take the case or whether the Bar complaint involved the previous case involving the same victim.

It is clear, however, that Bell was apprised of Lohmar’s decision to step down long before the general public. On the date of Lohmar’s resignation in March, Bell made a statement saying he had been aware for months that Lohmar was about to step down.

 “Tim informed me of his pending decision several months ago, so this announcement does not come as a surprise to me,” he said. “During my time as St. Louis County prosecutor, our offices have worked very well together under Tim’s leadership…Tim has been nothing but supportive to myself and our office, and I wish him nothing but the best.” 

Eleven days later, on April 11, the Ameristar assault case was sent to Lincoln County’s prosecuting attorney for its office to review as special prosecutor. 

Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Wood said he could not publicly discuss the case, which remains pending.

click to enlarge Tim Lohmar booking photo from July 2022 DWI.
Tim Lohmar booking photo from July 2022 arrest.

Prior to his resignation, Lohmar had been caught up in several scandals during his tenure as St. Charles County's top prosecutor. 

In July 2022, Lohmar was arrested on suspicion of DWI in Miller County in the Lake of the Ozarks. 

In October 2019, the Missouri Highway Patrol investigated Lohmar after a former girlfriend, St. Charles County Circuit Judge Erin Burlison, said that Lohmar was harassing her.

A few months prior to that, on August 18, 2019, officers with the O'Fallon Police Department stopped Lohmar near Burlison's home after a concerned neighbor called the police. 

According to the police report, Lohmar said he "was just out for a walk." The report indicates that Lohmar appeared nervous, his hands and legs shaking. "The smell of an intoxicating beverage emenat[ed] from his person."

Later, the neighbor who called the police told officers other members of his family had seen Lohmar "standing in the shadows in between their houses looking towards Burlison's bedroom window on the second floor of her house."

Videos from Burlison's neighbors collected as part of the highway patrol's investigation showed a man, suspected to be Lohmar, walking up to her house at night and spraying mustard on her garage keypad.

Lohmar later issued an apology and the highway patrol closed the investigation “out of deference to the victim’s wishes."

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