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Former Prosecutor Pleads Guilty to Kissing Defendant in Courthouse Office and Having Her Remove a ‘Portion of Her Clothing’

Jefferson County Missouri Courthouse is pictured.

The Jefferson County, Missouri courthouse is where James Isaac “Ike” Crabtree worked. (Image via KSDK-TV screengrab.)

A now-former eastern Missouri prosecutor has pleaded guilty to federal charges for “admitted sexual contact with a defendant” in his courthouse office and then lying about it during an FBI probe, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Friday.

James Isaac “Ike” Crabtree, 40, pleaded guilty to two counts:  (1) deprivation of rights under color of law and (2) making false statements. The right deprived under the first count was “the woman’s right to bodily integrity,” the DOJ said in a press release.

The victim in question was the subject of “multiple pending cases” involving Crabtree as prosecutor, the DOJ noted.

The sexual conduct is said to have occurred on March 8, 2021, but the lies to the FBI didn’t occur until nearly a year later on March 3, 2022.

Crabtree resigned as a municipal prosecutor for Jefferson County, Missouri in March 2022 as a result of the federal criminal investigation, the DOJ said in a press release issued at the time of indictment in April 2022.

The indictment says Crabtree “falsely denied he had sexual contact” with a woman identified only as “Victim One.”

He later “falsely denied that he kissed Victim One,” falsely denied that he touched the woman’s body, and “falsely denied that he had Victim One take a portion of her clothing off when, as Defendant then and there knew, he had taken those actions and engaged in that conduct,” the indictment reads while describing the charge of lying to FBI agents.

The conduct in question happened in Crabtree’s office in the Jefferson County, Missouri courthouse during regular business hours, according to federal documents.

A plea agreement explains the possible sentence as follows.  Crabtree faces a potentially more severe punishment because he was a public official at the time of the crimes, because the victim was a “vulnerable victim,” and because Crabtree “attempted to obstruct or impede” the investigation.  However, the defendant also eventually accepted responsibility for the offenses.  That move spurred prosecutors to knock several points off of a possible sentence calculation under the usual federal sentencing guidelines.

Due to the type of plea entered, a federal judge will ascertain the final sentence applicable in this case.

The first count is eligible for a potential one-year jail sentence, a $100,000 fine, or both, the DOJ said.  The second count could result in a five-year prison term and a quarter-million-dollar fine.

Sentencing has been scheduled for Nov. 15.

A Missouri bar directory indicates that Crabtree’s license remains in “good standing.”  He was admitted to practice on April 10, 2010, and the directory lists a Hillsboro, Missouri address for him.

The indictment and the plea agreement are both embedded below.  The case is number 4:22-cr-00219 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.


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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.