A sheriff from central Missouri is facing a variety of criminal charges after he was accused of sexual harassment, stalking and assault. The 27-year-old man, who serves as the sheriff in Osage County, contends that the allegations have no basis in fact, and some even believe that the charges may have some political motivation.

Authorities report the man allegedly harassed a woman who had been at a party with him in June. That woman had traveled with the man on an emergency call to break up a fight at a tire store. The woman alleges that the defendant used his flashlight to touch her in an intimate way while she was assisting with that call. In addition, the woman has accused the defendant of coming to her house and bothering her fianc? when she was not home. In fact, she was so afraid that he might be at her house that she drew her gun when she returned one morning. The man also is accused of making offensive sexual comments to the victim.

The man's attorney adamantly argues that his client is not guilty of the charges put before him. In fact, the sheriff says that he implemented a variety of strict procedures since he was elected to office; he believes that the charges may be a form of retaliation for the changes he has made since he took over operations in the county. Some of the employees may be disgruntled because of the new rules, he said.

In this case, the sheriff does not deserve to be retaliated against simply because he made changes to the department. It is relatively easy for people to bring allegations of sexual misconduct, especially if others were not around at the time of the assaults. Defendants in sexual assault cases deserve the full protection of the courts because of the sometimes dubious nature of these allegations.

Source:  www.kansas.com, "Missouri sheriff says harassment, stalking charges against him 'baseless'" No author given, Sep. 28, 2013