Acquitted trooper fights for his job

Thursday, March 21, 2002

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A Missouri Highway Patrol trooper acquitted of rape charges last month faces a hearing to determine if he will get to go back to his job.

A Dade County jury in February found Sgt. David Callaway, 41, of Marshfield, innocent of charges of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse. Callaway has been on unpaid leave since June, after the patrol began investigating allegations that he attacked an 11-year-old girl in 1989.

The administrative hearing that will determine Callaway's fate as a pilot and sergeant with the patrol was to begin Wednesday. The hearing in Jefferson City is closed to the public.

"They'll be looking at whether Sgt. Callaway was in violation of any of our rules and regulations," patrol spokesman Capt. Chris Ricks told the Springfield News-Leader.

Several options for panel

Ricks said the panel, which includes a patrol captain and five sergeants, has several options, including reinstatement, suspension and termination.

The panel will consider evidence from the patrol and Callaway's defense attorneys before rendering its decision. Assistant Attorney General Andrea Spillars represents the patrol while Springfield attorneys Dee Wampler and Joe Passanise represent Callaway.

At trial, prosecutors claimed Callaway had abused the girl while teaching her to swim at a Stockton Lake campground. The alleged victim, who is now 23, has said that she waited so long to come forward because of emotional distress.

Wampler, who plans to submit much of the same evidence he used in last month's criminal trial, said he expects the hearing to last two days.

Same evidence

"We have about 50 items of physical evidence," he said. "There's a lot of repeat work."

But there could be differences, Ricks said.

"Basically, it's the same case, but there could be other evidence that wasn't used in the criminal trial," Ricks said.

Ricks said the patrol is using a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows it to compel defendants to disclose to the patrol information they wouldn't be compelled to in criminal court.

"We can demand that the individual answer questions they wouldn't have to answer during a criminal trial," he said.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: