Incoming Missouri lawmaker asks that her alleged rapist not be sworn in as state representative
An incoming Missouri state representative, Cora Faith Walker, penned a letter to the state speaker of House requesting her alleged rapist not be sworn in to the Missouri House of Representatives. The man accused of rape, Steven Roberts, Jr., is also slated as an incoming state representative, but following Walker’s letter, Roberts will not be allowed to serve until a police investigation is completed. The page-long letter was sent to Missouri House Leader Todd Richardson, as well as two other House speakers Friday morning, and got directly to the point.
It read, “My name is Cora Faith Walker. I will be in the Capitol in January as the Representative of the 74th District. Earlier this week, I reported a sexual assault to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. I named my rapist as Steven Roberts, Jr., who hopes to be in the Capitol next year as the Representative of the 77th District.” She continued, “While I initially did so using the anonymity that state law correctly offers accusers as an option, I ultimately decided to press charges, in the interest of my own safety and the safety of others. Pressing charges and speaking publicly was, and is, a difficult decision.”
Her letter went on to state that with the support of her family, Walker felt compelled to write the letter and release permission for her name to be used, stressing that she isn’t the first woman to accuse Roberts of assault. In 2015, Roberts was investigated for alleged sexual misconduct with a female colleague, but ultimately wasn’t charged.
During an interview with The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Saturday, Walker emphasized that she’s sharing this experience with the express purpose of reform within the Missouri House of Representatives and preventing future women from being victimized:
“I felt a moral responsibility to speak out. The idea or the thought of me trying to just bury it is one I could not live with.”
In her letter to Richardson, she suggested that if Roberts wasn’t denied his seat in House, he should at least be heavily monitored by Capitol security, as detailed in The Post-Dispatch’s reprint of the letter.
At this point in the investigation, Roberts has neither been arrested or charged with a crime; however, his attorney, Scott Rosenbum, told the Associated Press that what occurred between the two was consensual, adding, “And I think we have what I would call objective evidence to support that.”
May justice be swift and thorough.