Accused casino cheat asks for a new judge

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The criminal case against a local university professor charged with cheating at the Cape Girardeau casino has been stalled by his request for a new judge.

Roger Arpin was scheduled to be in court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing in front of Judge Gary Kamp on a felony count of violating Missouri's riverboat gambling laws.

The proceeding was canceled when Arpin, a longtime literature professor at Southeast Missouri State University, asked for a new judge. The motion was filed Dec. 19 by Arpin's lawyer, Trae Bertrand, who declined to comment when asked why the motion was filed.

Under Missouri law, any criminal defendant can request a new judge -- without cause -- as long as the motion is filed within 10 days after an initial plea. That sends the case to the presiding circuit judge, in this case Judge William Syler, who can transfer it to judges Michael Bullerdieck or Scott Thomsen.

Arpin, 66, faces allegations of cheating at blackjack during a Dec. 14 visit to Isle Casino Cape Girardeau. He was arrested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol after casino employees reported they had seen and recorded Arpin "capping" bets, which occurs when a gambler adds to a bet after receiving his or her cards. Security warned Arpin and paid out a hand before alerting authorities when he continued. Arpin's arrest is the first gambling-related offense since the casino opened in October.

The charge carries a possible four years in prison and a lifetime ban from any Missouri casino.

Arpin has remained free on $7,500 bond. University officials called Arpin's arrest, calling a personnel matter.


Pertinent address:

100 Court St., Jackson, MO

777 N. Main St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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