Missouri House finds state rep sexually, mentally abused his children

The Missouri House Ethics Committee on Monday recommended that state Rep. Rick Roeber (R) be expelled, after it released a report that found that the lawmaker allegedly physically, sexually and mentally abused his children when they were as young as five years old in the 1990s.

The Ethics Committee, according to the report released Monday, heard sworn testimony from five witnesses and reviewed more than 200 pages of available documents relating to the accusations of abuse.

The report found “clear and convincing testimony and other evidence” that Roeber sexually abused two of his children when they were five and nine years of age, respectively. 

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The Missouri Times reported that the lawmaker had four children — one child he adopted from his ex-wife's pervious marriage, with the other three born in the mid-to-late '80s. 

“I was sexually abused by him. I was physically abused by him. I was groomed by him from a very young age. ... He treated me more like a [companion]. ... [W]hen we would ride in the car, he’d have his hand on my upper thigh just kind of rubbing it,” one of Roeber’s children told the committee.

The findings came after the committee had been investigating Reober, a freshman lawmaker, following allegations of sexual and physical abuse from his now-adult children.

Roeber attempted to resign from his position as a representative, but last week, his resignation was rejected by the committee in order to continue the probe, according to the Times. 

The report also found that he physically and mentally abused his children, among other claims.

One of Roeber's children testified the state lawmaker would “hold them against the wall by their necks and lift upwards until they could not breathe."

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The committee also wrote that Roeber’s ex-wife, who was identified as Witness 1 in the report, and her children provided “consistent statements and sworn testimony detailing the sexual, physical, and mental abuse suffered by these children” for almost three decades.

In the report, the committee claimed that the sexual abuse that was allegedly uncovered constitutes a Class A felony.

“The State of Missouri has failed these children for over 20 years. Although this Committee cannot change the past, this Committee can provide a clear record of Respondent’s abusive conduct,” the committee wrote in the report.

In another account detailed in the report, Roeber’s ex-wife and one of his children recalled an incident when he allegedly drowned a litter of puppies in a nearby pond.

The committee wrote that they found both of their testimonies to be credible.

The Hill reached out to Roeber for comment.