Friday, October 28, 2016

Missouri politico sues future colleague who accused him of rape, possibly shining light on scandal involving Jason Kander and U.S. Senate race against Roy Blunt

Steven Roberts Jr.
An incoming Missouri legislator has filed a defamation lawsuit against a future colleague who accused him of rape. The civil case could unlock secrets about the evolving scandal surrounding Jason Kander, the Democrat who is trying to unseat GOP incumbent Roy Blunt in one of the nation's most closely watched U.S. Senate races.

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
Could discovery in the Roberts lawsuit reveal information about Walker's motivations and her connections to RYH4K and the Kander campaign? The answer appears to be yes.

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.


Anonymous said...

This is getting juicy. Must . . . follow . . .

Anonymous said...

I live in Alabama, but this Missouri stuff is good.

Anonymous said...

sounds like a hit song - D-I-V-O-R-C-E may be in store for Faith

Anonymous said...

This woman undressed in front of Roberts and then posed nude for a photograph -- and then she claims he raped her??!!

If this is true, this woman is too stupid to serve in the Missouri legislature. She's too stupid to hold any position of importance.

legalschnauzer said...

That's where The Kander Memo enters the picture, @7:43. It seems clear she and Roberts were having a consenual affair, and she decided to rewrite history when she became aware of The Kander Memo and the danger it posed to her career. I don't think Ms. Walker is stupid, but the memo likely threw her into a panic, and she decided the best option was to throw Mr. Roberts under the bus. That, as you note, doesn't work so well when you've left evidence of a consensual relationship.

Anonymous said...

@7:43 PM can we please put aside for a moment whether or not you want to see this woman Cora Faith Walker nude? It isn't important. I don't want to see Cora Faith Walker naked or anything else! She's a victim from everything I can tell.

Anonymous said...

Wow you're grasping at straws here.

Andrew Kreig said...

Congrats to Legal Schnauzer for pursuing this important story.

And "isn't it interesting," as Ross Perot used to say, that only bloggers have undertaken the deep research to inform the public of how and why Jason Kander became "surprise" contender, not just what polls and pundits say.

After this LS column Missouri's two biggest newspapers published endorsements Sunday, Oct. 30. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch picked Kander, and the Kansas City Star endorsed Blunt. Neither gave much more than superficial reasons.

I left a reader comment for both, pointing to my follow-up column to the Legal Schnauzer's here:

"Missouri Rape Claim Prompts Political Explosion"

Andrew Kreig, Oct. 29, 2016

A Missouri candidate’s disputed rape claim is opening a Pandora’s box of sexual, financial and partisan secrecy that could affect which party on Nov. 8 wins control of the U.S. Senate.

Aside from the raw issues typically involved in rape allegations, the dispute between two candidates raises questions also about Walker's ties to a controversial tax referendum and its key backer Jason Kander, the Democratic nominee for a Missouri seat in the U.S. Senate.

Kander, currently Missouri's secretary of state, was nearly tied in the latest voter poll with incumbent Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, 66, in a race that could help tilt the U.S. Senate to a Democratic majority from the GOP’s current 54 seats.


Also, in the face of conflicting endorsements and apparently too little time for an informed public (unless readers head here), kindly let me share here a bit wisdom that I posted on the Star's site that comes from Will Rogers nearly a century ago.

"I always support the best candidate," Rogers said. "Unfortunately, he never runs."

In this case, most commenters at the newspapers disagreed with their endorsements for what seem like good reasons but few show much awareness of what it takes these days to mount an effective challenge to the insiders. That story is both largely untold except in the blogosphere, and extremely ugly.

There's no great answer -- except for an informed and aroused public. Democracy does not end with your vote. Pressure the winner on your most urgent concerns, and don't forget that both winners and losers should be scrutinized even after the results for what they did to get to this point. There's lots still left for us to do!

e.a.f. said...

welcome to American, where sex and politics go hand in hand. amazing what some people will do to win an election. OMG YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP.