Jefferson County, MO — Police, we are told, are society's finest. Heroic men and women sacrifice themselves to protect society from criminals so that we may live long and safe lives. If this assertion were entirely true, when these fine men and women commit a crime they are sworn to prevent, they should be held to higher standards than the rest of society because not only have they broken a law, but they have betrayed the trust of people they serve.
However, as the case below illustrates, all too often, when a police officer betrays this trust—going so far as to prey on society's most vulnerable, children—their badge grants them a lower standard of justice and they escape accountability.
A now-former Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy was entrusted by the citizens of Jefferson County, Mo. to serve and protect them. However, protecting and serving were the last things this admitted child predator had on his mind.
According to police, former deputy Joshua Skaggs, 25, was accused of molesting two children on two different occasions. The victims were 14 and 13-years-old at the time of their sexual assaults.
Authorities say the first incident happened on September 3, 2019, when a 14-year-old girl was visiting Skaggs and his wife at the home. While the relation to Skaggs was unclear, the girl's story is laid out in disturbing detail in court documents.
According to the victim, as KMOV 4 reports, she was awoken around 5 a.m. by Skaggs touching her bare chest below her bra. She said her shirt had been pulled over her bra, and the light from Skagg’s cell phone had been turned on. She told police she thought it was possible that he had taken a photo of her.
The other incident happened when the 13-year-old was visiting Skaggs' home in July of 2019. The 13-year-old also claimed that she woke up with this child predator standing over her, lifting the waistband to her pants in an attempt to get inside them.
Both girls woke up during the abuse and both girls were terrified of telling anyone because Skaggs was a cop and he would try to hurt them for telling.
"The oldest was extremely scared that he (Skaggs) would come try to harm her," the mother said in a statement to News 4. "The youngest daughter told us she was terrified he would hurt her or our family, and because he was a cop he wouldn't get in trouble."
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After the girls came forward in September of 2019, the department made the right decision and fired Skaggs after he denied one incident and then said the first one may have been an accident — as if you can accidentally start sexually assaulting a child as she sleeps.
Eventually, Skaggs pleaded guilty to the charges of child molestation and sexual abuse.
In the state of Missouri, Missouri Revised Statutes § 566.067 defines child molestation in the first degree as subjecting a child under the age of 14 to sexual contact. Sexual contact may include touching another with one's genitals or touching another's genitals, anus or breasts, for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.
This describes Skaggs' actions on those nights succinctly.
Child molestation in the first degree is a class B felony, punishable by a minimum of 5 years to 15 years in state prison. By the state's own guidelines, Skaggs should have done a minimum of 5 years for each of the charges. However, this corrupt system, that imprisons pot users for decades, sentenced this badge wearing child molester to just 60 days in jail.
In this exact same county, in 1996, Jeff Mizanskey was sentenced to life in prison without parole for selling marijuana. In the meantime, this cop sexual assaults two children and he gets just two months in prison.
Naturally, the two girls are traumatized from being molested by a cop they trusted and the fact that he's only going to jail for 60 days makes it even worse.
“It has affected our entire family. I have started counseling for myself and we have also started family counseling to help us all get through this traumatizing event," she said. “The youngest has been diagnosed with PTSD. The oldest is too scared to even open up because she now is too scared to trust anyone.”
Blue privilege is a crime.