Missouri attorney general reviewing claims against lawmaker

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A judge appointed Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt as a special prosecutor to consider criminal charges against a state lawmaker accused of having sex with a drunk woman while on duty as a cop years ago, Schmitt’s office confirmed Thursday.

An office spokesman said Schmitt, a Republican who is running for U.S. Senate, is reviewing whether to press charges against GOP state Rep. Chad Perkins, of Bowling Green.

The Missouri Highway Patrol launched an investigation after the allegations became public in May, and a patrol spokesman in October said the agency turned over a report on the claims to Pike County Prosecuting Attorney Alex Ellison.

Ellison said he asked a special prosecutor to take over the case because he knows Perkins personally. Pike County Circuit Judge Patrick Flynn last month ordered Schmitt’s office to take on that role.

“We’ve been made aware of the Court’s order and are reviewing the matter,” Schmitt spokesman Chris Nuelle said in a statement.

Perkins worked in law enforcement in northeast Missouri before he won election to the state House in 2020.

Just a few months after Perkins assumed office, a local police chief sent documents detailing allegations against him to the Missouri Highway Patrol, the House speaker and other law enforcement agencies.

The woman involved told The Associated Press in June that she had fallen asleep in her car at a park around April 2015 when she was 20 years old and woke up to Perkins knocking on her car window.

She said Perkins drove her around in his police car for what seemed like a long time before he had sex with her in the backseat. She said she was still drunk and remembers only bits and pieces.

Perkins has said the relationship was consensual but denied they had sex when he was on duty or she was drunk.

The Missouri House is also investigating the claims against Perkins.

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