St. Louis Prosecutor Drops Sex Charge Against Former Officer

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Prosecutors on Wednesday dismissed charges against a former St. Louis police officer accused of forcing a pregnant mother of four into a sex act while he was on duty in 2015.

The woman who made the allegations against John Stewart, 53, did not show up to testify at a scheduled trial, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Prosecutors could refile the charges.

Court documents said that Stewart responded in uniform and a marked police car after the woman called on June 12, 2015, to report that her car had been stolen. The woman said she “did not consent” to Stewart’s sexual advances but complied because she was “in fear of serious physical injury” to herself and her children.

Stewart’s attorneys in May asked the court to dismiss the case or bar the woman from testifying because she said in two depositions that she had verbally agreed to the sex act.

Prosecutors argued the woman agreed because she was afraid of what would happen if she didn’t.

Former Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce declined to file charges in the case, but Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner changed course after she took office. Stewart was charged with sodomy in 2018.

A department spokeswoman said Stewart was on the force from Jan. 3, 1989, to June 13, 2015.