Lawsuit: Former sheriff stole drugs, assaulted plaintiff

Posted at 6:35 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 19:35:57-04

BETHANY, Mo. — A woman has alleged in a civil rights lawsuit that a former northwest Missouri sheriff gave her drugs and sexually assaulted her.

The St. Joseph News-Press reported that the claims involve former Harrison County Sheriff Joshua Eckerson. He killed himself last year after a special prosecutor charged him with misdemeanor counts of misuse of official information by a public servant, trespassing and domestic assault.

It's unclear if those charges are related to the lawsuit because the criminal court documents are sealed.

A woman identified only as Jane Does alleges in the suit that Eckerson drove her home after a 2015 criminal interview, made a suggestive comment, returned later in uniform and coerced her into sexual intercourse in his sheriff's department vehicle.

"Over the ensuing months, Eckerson coerced plaintiff into having sexual intercourse or performing other sexual acts in exchange for the sheriff's department's assistance in criminal charges against herself or her family members," the lawsuit states.

Eckerson also allegedly directed Doe to trade illegal narcotics for steroids, which he used on himself, the lawsuit states.

Then, when Doe broke off the sexual encounters, Eckerson arrested Doe and pressed charges. The suit said he also initiated a relationship with a probation officer who oversaw Doe's case.

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