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Kansas City, Kansas, Police Officer Charged With Sexual Battery

Andrea Tudhope
KCUR 89.3
At a press conference Tuesday, Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree announced charges against Kansas City, Kansas, police officer Steven Rios for alleged sexual battery.

Steven Rios, a Kansas City, Kansas, police officer, has been charged with one count of sexual battery for touching a woman without her consent while on duty. 

The woman, a civilian employee of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department, reported the incident March 9.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree filed charges against Rios Monday.

Rios, an officer with the KCKPD for 32 years, had been "suspended until the outcome of the charges," said Thomas Tomasic, a spokesperson with the KCKPD.

Rios was a bodyguard for former Mayor Mark Holland, according to Dupree.

Dupree would not specify the nature of the alleged touching, but he emphasized that any form of nonconsensual contact will not be tolerated by his office.

"Sexual violence thrives when it's not taken seriously and not exposed openly," Dupree said. "It's 2018. It's time for discrimination, disrespect and sexual violence against women in the workplace, and in this community, to stop."

He praised the strength of women who work in predominantly male-run organizations, specifically as public servants.

"This should be celebrated, not used as an avenue for harassment," Dupree said.

He acknowledged the several factors, such as potential retaliation or career roadblocks, often deter survivors from reporting assault or harassment, but he encouraged women to come forward. 

"Do not allow fear to stop you from reporting these crimes," Dupree said. "The time is right. You do not have to remain silent any longer. We will stand and fight for you."

Dupree also thanked the KCKPD for taking the allegations seriously and passing the findings of their internal investigation on to his office. 

If convicted, Rios could face up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine and 15 years as a registered sex offender.

Andrea Tudhope is a reporter for KCUR 89.3. Email her at andreat@kcur.org, and tweet her @_tudhope.

Andrea Tudhope is an award-winning multimedia journalist based in Kansas City, Missouri. She is currently coordinating producer for America Amplified, a national public media community engagement initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
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