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St. Louis assistant prosecutor under investigation

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ST. LOUIS • An assistant circuit attorney in St. Louis has been arrested and suspended as part of an investigation of an alleged incident at a downtown bar, the Post-Dispatch has learned.

Steve Roberts Jr., 27, was arrested April 24 on suspicion of second-degree sodomy involving a student, 25, on April 16, police records show. Charges have not yet been filed. A spokeswoman for the St. Charles County prosecutor said the case was being reviewed there to avoid a conflict.

The records say Roberts and the alleged victim were strangers.

He started in the prosecutor’s office on Oct. 14, and has not appeared recently in court. Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce’s office declined to provide any information about his status, except to say he earns $44,000 a year.

Roberts’ lawyer, Scott Rosenblum, said prosecutors are only examining the possibility of a misdemeanor charge, “and we’re confident that once that investigation is completed there will be no further action and no charges.”

Rosenblum said Roberts has been suspended with pay but hopes to return. “He has done absolutely nothing wrong and he wants to continue with his career,” the lawyer said.

Roberts is the son of developer and former St. Louis alderman Steve Roberts.

Asked about an allegation that the incident involved misconduct with a St. Louis University law school student, Rosenblum replied: “He vehemently denies that ever took place.”

A spokeswoman for the law school said federal law bans commenting on issues relating to students.

Tim Quinn, manager of the Side Bar, at 1317 Washington Avenue, said police had contacted him about whether there were surveillance cameras there, but were vague about the allegations. He said police implied it involved some sort of allegation of “sexual harassment.”

The bar does not have video cameras, and staff didn’t remember any incident, Quinn told police.

Christine Byers of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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Christine Byers is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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