Springfield, Missouri — The Missouri House of Representatives Ethics Committee has officially accused Kansas City lawmakers of abusing their children and recommended that they drop out.
In a 12-page report released Monday, half the Republican and Democratic committees said Rick Roeber, a R-Lee summit, sexually abused two young children in 1990, all four. Said he confirmed allegations of physical and psychological abuse.
The Commission further stated that their findings revealed that Rover was “not suitable for representing the Missouri State Parliament.”
The panel lamented Roeber’s ex-wife and children reporting abuse decades ago but was useless, with a long excerpt from testimony heard from Roeber’s children and how he charged criminal charges. A memo about what will be done reveals a desire to rectify it.
“Missouri has failed these children for over 20 years,” the report read. “This committee cannot change the past, but it can provide a clear record of (Rover’s) abuse.”
The heart of the Commission’s newly established record begins with testimony from Rover’s eldest son, who he adopted.
The child, who has been identified elsewhere, but is called Child 1 in the report, told the committee that he had been “cared for by Roeber from an early age,” when the two got in the car. “Rubbing a little” with her hand over her thigh.
In one case, she said Rover took her hand and placed it on his genitals.
“I didn’t know what to do,” she told the committee. “I just froze there. I was nine.”
Labor’s ex-wife told the committee that her eldest son told her about the abuse in 1993, the year after the divorce.
The commission said the second child, who did not testify, also told authorities that he had been sexually abused by Roeber at the age of five. Its disclosure to therapists led to a state investigation that found a possible cause of what it believed was “sexual abuse.” However, that discovery was later overturned.
Roeber’s ex-wife said child abuse and a reversal on the neglect review board had occurred as Roeber sought status in a local church, including working with children.
She said a lawyer was working for her at the time, but the lawyer was unable to hold a board hearing.
The other two children also testified in front of the committee and talked about regular physical abuse.
According to the report, one of them described a “continuous beating” with a belt because of the often trivial things such as spilling milk. The same child said Roeber would push the children against the wall with his neck and lift them up until he couldn’t breathe.
Another child said Roeber caused the whole family to suffer from a “hellish nightmare.”
Roeber denies allegations of abuse
According to the report, Mr. Rover denied all accusations, telling the Commission that it was part of a “political blow” and “system.”
At one point, he hinted that his children were part of a “political blow” and told the committee that “all my children are Democrats.”
In its report, the Ethics Commission said Rover’s testimony was “unreliable in all important respects related to this investigation.”
The report also states that Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have contacted Jackson County prosecutor about the case and expressed concern over Labor’s grandchildren who will be visiting with him over the weekend.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the criminal accusation had progressed, but a vote is scheduled to expel Rover from the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
Roeber unanimously rejected the idea last week, attempting to resign before the report was released and claiming to move out of state shortly, paving the way for more punitive action. ..
Labor was expelled from the second legislature in state history and joined Callaway County separatist John Sampson. Exiled in 1865, Notorious.
His resignation was overwhelmingly rejected to give the Ethics Commission time to finish and publish its report.
“This is a serious claim,” said Richard Brown, a top Democrat on the Chamber of Commerce’s Ethics Committee at the time. “It is not correct to accept this resignation and let this member escape without fully admitting what happened here.”
Austin Huguelet is a news leader political reporter. Did you get what he needs to know? I have a question? Call him at 417-403-8096 or email him at ahuguelet @ news-leader.com.
This article was originally published in Springfield News-Leader: Missouri House Panel: Republican Rep. Rick Roeber Abuses Children