When Rick Roeber ran for the Missouri House of Representatives, he described himself as pro-gun, anti-abortion, and “unapolegetically conservative” [sic]. He was also an ordained pastor and part-time chaplain. He ran for the seat in part because his wife held it for four years before she died in 2019; he ended up winning the race in November with 51% of the vote.
And now he’s resigning.
It stems from allegations made against him even before the election. In September, his children went public with a story that their father had sexually and physically abused them when they were younger.
… Anastasia Roeber of Lee’s Summit, Roeber’s adopted daughter, says he made improper sexual advances toward her in 1990, when she was 9 years old.
“He made me place my hand on his genitals,” Anastasia said of the 1990 incident in Roeber’s home. “I just froze.” Some time later, Roeber asked his daughter “if he could touch me,” she said.
A sibling, Samson Roeber of New York City, said he suffered physical abuse from Roeber as a child. He was not sexually molested, but “my father’s always been physically abusive,” he said. “He had a temper.”
A third sibling, Gabrielle Galeano, says she was aware of the alleged abuse while living with Anastasia, Samson and another sibling. That fourth sibling later claimed sexual maltreatment from Roeber, an allegation investigated by the state of Missouri.
Roeber denied everything and, at the time, posted a not-quite-a-rebuttal on Facebook (since deleted) that said in 2003, “the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board (CANRB) concluded that all accusations were without merit and I was completely exonerated.”
It wasn’t exactly a denial. It was always possible the sexual abuse couldn’t be proven or that the physical abuse didn’t rise to any kind of criminal level.
The Kansas City Star also pointed out that when they spoke with Roeber about the allegations, he gave them a redacted letter from that review board as a way to show he was cleared of wrongdoing. But when the newspaper obtained the actual report, they found that the paperwork “only involved the fourth sibling’s allegations.”
After Roeber was elected, the children asked Republican House Speaker Rob Vescovo not to seat him. While Roeber was seated, the Republicans “banned him from their caucus,” according to KSHB, and planned to investigate the matter further.
Roeber resigned on Tuesday, just as the House Ethics Committee was meeting to discuss his case. He said in his resignation letter that he was quitting to be “closer to family.”
Not his kids, though. His sick mother.
His final day in office will be Friday.
It can’t come soon enough.
(Large portions of this article were published earlier)