|Steven Roberts Jr.|
Steven Roberts Jr. yesterday filed a lawsuit against Cora Faith Walker, accusing her of defamation, malicious prosecution, and infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit comes two days after a special prosecutor announced he would not bring criminal charges against Roberts, based on Walker's rape complaint.
Walker serves as one of three officers for Raise Your Hands for Kids (RYH4K), a Kander-controlled nonprofit that has raised about $5 million for a ballot initiative and constitutional amendment that would raise tobacco taxes supposedly to boost early-childhood education in Missouri. According to a document called The Kander Memo, however, $3 million for RYH4K came from RJ Reynolds, the tobacco conglomerate that likely would benefit from enhanced market share and increased taxes on products from its discount competitors.
As an officer of RYH4K, Walker holds a fiduciary duty to ensure that $5 million in donations, $2 million of which came from individual contributors, is handled lawfully and actually goes to programs for children. The anonymous authors of The Kander Memo say the funds have been tainted with fraud and theft by deceit, serving partly as a political slush fund for Kander.
Walker, a lawyer, brought her rape allegations against Roberts less than 10 days after The Kander Memo was released to seven government oversight bodies. The 127-page memo repeatedly points to irregularities and alleged criminal conduct that could threaten Walker's legal and political careers. Evidence suggests she might have developed the rape allegations against Roberts as a way to deflect attention from The Kander Memo.
|Cora Faith Walker|
This much is certain: Roberts' lawsuit provides intimate details about his relationship with Walker, which he says was consensual. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Roberts’ civil suit claims the two actually had their first sexual contact at a political conference in Kansas City on Aug. 25, the day before Walker alleges she was raped.
Roberts claims that Walker, who is married, initiated the contact in Kansas City by asking to keep her purse in Roberts’ hotel room while she attended an evening social function. The suit claims that once in Roberts’ room, Walker asked to use his shower and then undressed in front of him. Roberts said Walker posed for a nude photo and then the two had sexual contact. Walker left Roberts’ room about 2.a.m., the suit claims.
The following night, after returning to St. Louis from the conference in Kansas City, the two met up for drinks, according to the suit.
Walker texted Roberts from a jazz bar and he went to meet her, the suit says. On leaving the bar about 10 p.m., Roberts said Walker turned down his invitation to go to another bar, but accepted his offer to go to his apartment. They stopped to pick up food and wine on the way to his apartment, the suit says.
While there, from about 10:30 p.m. to the early morning, Roberts claims, they had sex three times and then fell asleep.
Roberts said Walker woke up about 6 a.m. when her cellphone rang, and she became agitated. When Roberts asked if everything was all right, Roberts said Walker stated that it was, except that she was supposed to have gone home the night before.
He says they exchanged cordial texts later in the day.
The Walker-Roberts story already has made national headlines, and the lawsuit figures to grab even more attention. Meanwhile, the Kander-Blunt race could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate beginning in 2017.
The lawsuit and The Kander Memo, combined, might eventually expose a side of politics that is as ugly as it gets.