Rural Missouri Sheriff Robert Becker Sentenced to Probation For Sex Abuse

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Knox County Sheriff Robert Becker pleaded guilty to sex abuse and domestic assault. - KNOX COUNTY SHERIFF FACEBOOK
Knox County Sheriff Robert Becker pleaded guilty to sex abuse and domestic assault.

A rural Missouri sheriff was sentenced on Wednesday to two years probation after pleading guilty to domestic assault and sexual abuse.

Knox County Sheriff Robert Becker will also have to resign as part of the plea deal he cut with the state Attorney General's Office.

The 51-year-old lawman abused an ex-girlfriend in bizarre and violent ways. The woman, identified her initials in court records, told Missouri State High Patrol investigators Becker choked her with a shirt in December 2017, according to a probable cause statement.

Four months later, in April 2018, he called her to the sheriff's office where troopers questioned her about her involvement in a crime. She agreed to let them search her home, and Becker tagged along. The woman later told investigators that while troopers searched one part of the house, Becker pulled out his penis and pushed it into her mouth "without consent."

"Becker was standing behind a wall which shielded part of his body," patrol Corporal E.T. Bartel wrote in probable cause statement. "Becker's position allowed him to be hidden but still see if other officers were approaching."

The case landed with the attorney general because of a conflict with local prosecutors. Judge Thomas Redington sentenced Becker to one year each for the two misdemeanors but suspended the prison terms in favor of probation.

Attorney General Josh Hawley praised the outcome.

“There is no place for law enforcement officers who abuse their power,” Hawley said in a written statement. “As a result of today’s plea, Mr. Becker can no longer serve in any law enforcement capacity. The Knox County community is safer as a result of today’s action.”

Becker will also lose his peace officer's license and will have to enroll in sex offender treatment. He was elected in 2016 to serve as sheriff of Knox County, about 180 miles northwest of St. Louis. He is currently suspended and is required to resign by December 31.

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