Crime

Missouri cop allegedly sodomized pregnant woman in her home, is charged years later

John Stewart
John Stewart

A former St. Louis police officer was charged last month after allegedly forcing a sexual encounter on a pregnant woman who had called police for help in June 2015.

John Stewart of O’Fallon, Mo., allegedly asked to touch the woman’s breasts, exposed himself and then urged the woman to perform oral sex on him.

“I did not consent to (Stewart’s) sexual advances but complied as I was in fear of serious physical injury to myself and my children, who were present at the time,” the woman wrote in court records.

Stewart, 51, is charged with one count of sodomy or attempted sodomy.

He had responded to the woman’s home after she contacted the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to report a stolen vehicle.

He posted a $60,000 bond last week.

The woman was 25 and six months pregnant at the time. Her four children were all in bed during the incident, she previously told The Star.

The woman said she wiped Stewart’s seminal fluid on a garment, according to court records. Lab tests confirmed Stewart’s DNA on the garment.

St. Louis police conducted an investigation of the incident, but Stewart resigned “prior to any internal disciplinary action occurring,” spokeswoman Michelle Woodling told The Star in December.

She added that the department recommended criminal charges, but the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office did not press charges.

Jennifer Joyce, the circuit attorney at the time, did not respond to a request for comment.

The current circuit attorney, Kim Gardner, also declined to comment, citing the pending nature of the case. Her spokeswoman, Susan Ryan, told The Star in December that Gardner was reopening the case.

The alleged victim in the case was the subject of a short film produced last year by a relative that told of the alleged incident with Stewart.

The woman said images of Michael Brown, who was killed not far away by a Ferguson officer about a year earlier, and other police shootings contributed to her fear of the officer and her decision to comply with his demands, she said.

She told The Star in December that she felt ignored by authorities after reporting the alleged sex crime.

“They clearly didn’t care enough even with all the evidence,” she said then. “We’re low-income in south St. Louis. Just another black girl in the city.”

Max Londberg: 816-234-4378, @MaxLondberg

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