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Knox County sheriff pleads guilty to sex crime, will resign

Knox County, Missouri, Sheriff Robert Becker agreed to resign after he pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of Domestic Assault in the 4th degree and Sexual Abuse in the 2nd degree, both misdemeanors.

Due to a plea agreement with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, Becker will not serve any jail time. Instead, he will be placed on two years of probation, pay a $2,000 fine, register as a sex offender and resign as sheriff by the end of 2018.

County officials said Becker is suspended without pay until he submits his formal letter of resignation. The office was being led by the Chief Deputy on Wednesday.

The Knox County Commission will meet in special session Thursday morning to name an interim sheriff. A special election will be scheduled within the first 10 weeks of 2019 to elect a new sheriff.

The charging documents for the domestic assault charge accuse Becker of choking a female with a shirt. They state that the female and Becker were in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.

The charging documents for the sexual abuse charge states that Becker had sexual contact with the female without her consent in April of 2018.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley released the following statement Wednesday afternoon,

“There is no place for law enforcement officers who abuse their power,” Hawley said. “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.”

The Attorney General’s Office stated that they appointed a special prosecutor due to a conflict of interest. Assistant Attorneys General Katharine Dolin, Christine Krug, and Gregory Goodwin handled the case in cooperation with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The case was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Zachary Voss

Zachary Voss is the Assignment Editor at WGEM.

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