Former Joplin Police Officer Charged with Misconduct
While many members of law enforcement are honest, hardworking people who work to ensure the safety of the community at large, unfortunately, not all police officers adhere to the laws they have sworn to protect. A prime example of this reality comes in the form of a recent officer misconduct scandal in which a now-former member of the Joplin Police Department (JPD) offered to drop a DWI charge against a woman if she agreed to have a sexual relationship with him.
On September 19th, 2016, ex-officer Brian Rogers waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor charge of “Deprivation of Rights under Color of Law,” for which he faces up to a year in federal prison and fines up to $10,000. According to a statement issued by JPD, the department learned that Rogers had made contact with the woman through Facebook and text messages while her court charge was still pending and offered to dismiss her case in exchange for a relationship, at which point the case was referred to the FBI for investigation. Rogers resigned within a week after Internal Affairs’ investigation began.
Attorney Scott J. Vorhees was interviewed by KOAM News on the matter and commented on the issue of abuse of power by the police. “Because of the difference in power, the person getting asked doesn’t really feel like they have the ability to say no. You’ll see that in cases of sexual harassment a lot, where one person has all the power and the other person doesn’t really have the ability to say no.” He went on to add that “just because one particular officer does something wrong doesn’t mean that that it is a reflection on the police department. It came to light, it was corrected, and I think it will decrease the chance that this will ever happen here again.”
JPD maintains that it did not take the situation lightly, stating that Rogers’ conduct “will not be tolerated” and that his behavior “is not indicative of the men and women who work at our department.”
At Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci our team of Four States personal injury attorneys have more than 140+ years of combined experience guarding the rights of injured clients throughout Joplin, Springfield, and Rogers/Bentonville. For more information about this case or to find out how we can assist you with your injury claim, contact our office online or call us today at (833) 600-0125.