Children Of Missouri GOP Candidate Say He Molested Them When They Were Young
Two of the adult children of Rick Roeber, who is running for the 34th District House seat in Missouri, say the Republican candidate sexually and physically abused them when they were young, the Kansas City Star Editorial Board wrote on Tuesday.
- Roeber is running to replace his wife Rebecca, who passed away last year. The adult children are from his previous marriage.
Roeber has denied all allegations of abuse. But 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.
- One of her siblings, Samson Roeber, said he was not molested by their father but suffered physical abuse at his hand, telling The Star, “my father’s always been physically abusive. He had a temper.”
- Gabrielle Galeano, a third sibling, said she knew of the alleged abuse while living with her siblings, a fourth of whom later alleged abuse that was investigated by the state of Missouri.
The Star Editorial Board spoke with Anastasia, Samson, Gabrielle and their mother, Michelle Keller, who was once married to Roeber. Each person was interviewed separately.
Their memories are clear and consistent. The claims were examined in a sworn deposition almost two decades ago, long before Roeber, a Republican, decided to pursue elective office.
- Roeber denied that abuse in a statement to The Star, writing: “Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a very real mental illness in today’s world. Our lawyer’s deposition revealed the lies of my children and their mother.”
- The Editorial Board noted that while Roeber denies the childrens’ allegations, he has admitted to other poor behavior from the past.
In a 2007 profile in The Kansas City Star, he revealed his struggles with alcohol in the 1980s and early 1990s.
“I was a drunk that struggled with the demon alcohol and all the sundry effects of someone who was enslaved to his own desires,” he said then. “On March 5, 1992, I put the ‘plug in the jug’ and recommitted my life to the Lord Jesus.”
- The children claim the abuse took place during scheduled visitations after Roeber and Keller separated in 1990 and divorced in 1992.
The Editorial Board concluded with a call to voters to “ask him to explain his behavior” and “consider this record before casting ballots Nov. 3.”
Reconstructing events of 30 years ago is difficult, particularly in abuse cases. Records have long since disappeared, and some of those involved in the investigation have moved on, retired or are deceased. Surviving records in these cases may also be confidential.
But current, on-the-record allegations from Roeber’s adult children and his former wife are the same as the ones made long before Roeber decided to run for office. They are credible and do not appear politically motivated since they were first made decades ago.