MO: Former police officer, detective sentenced to five years probation in sodomy case

Source: 12/6/21

A rural Washington man who previously worked as a municipal police officer and a county sheriff’s detective has been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to sodomizing a boy that police say he met online.

Ryan Shomaker, 48, who previously lived in the 600 block of Royal Oaks Court, pleaded guilty Nov. 22 to one count of second-degree statutory sodomy. He was originally charged with two counts of sodomy, but prosecutors dropped one of the charges in exchange for the plea.

St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Dueker accepted Shomaker’s plea and sentenced him to a suspended seven-year prison sentence, placing him on probation for five years, according to court documents. 

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SUSPENDED sentence!


Would a non-cop receive leniency like that?

This is another example of the great disparity of treatment between police and non police, and other people in authority who abuse their position.

So let me get this straight. He used a computer to lure a REAL minor in order to sodomize him and he gets a slap on the wrist, BUT police use adults to pose as minors in order to entrap the general public and they get the book thrown at them. Equal justice?????
I also find it quite strange that authorities refused to release the age of the victim.
This joke of a sentence needs to be protested.

No accountability for law enforcement just a slap on the wrist.

This was a former police officer, so he was well aware of what happens to a person who is convicted of a sex offense, yet this did not deter him one bit. That is the ultimate proof that the threat or existence of a sex offender registry does nothing to deter anyone, including police officers. I am only glad he got this somewhat lenient sentence because I believe that anybody else should also get this type of sentence, BUT enter a treatment program. Here in the US, it is overlooked that there are people who suffer from addiction or other types of issues that jail time won’t resolve. In Europe, they focus more on rehabilitation and prevention. They have a program where anybody can disclose their problems and the doctor/ patient confidentiality has to be honored. They try to help people overcome their addiction without the threat of imprisonment. This police officer did what he did, knowing the consequences, but the urge was most likely greater than the fear of going to prison. He and many others could have benefited from counseling and other treatment. Jail is never (or almost never) the answer.

He turned himself in in 2019 and spent 2 years in jail awaiting trial.
He met this guy on an 18+ dating site because he was pursuing someone of age and NOT a child. The person posed as an adult and was post puberty age.
The alleged victim was found to be falsifying his actual age portraying to be younger to authorities and that’s why they won’t disclose actual victims age.

The real story is their using the fact he was an officer to put him on blast when the so called victim went after hooking up with men on an adult site, portraying to be of age and looking above age, agreeing to meet, stealing from suspect and such.

This was far more likely the result of a plea offer from the D.A.’s office, in which the judge went along with it, and less likely a case in which the judge went ‘soft’ on the defendant because he was a cop. (Although that still is a possibility). The deal appears to be “drop one count, no time in custody and probation, and on to the registry, in exchange for the guilty plea”. True, the judge does not have to go along with it, but he did. No shock there.

The likely alternative was a trial with a 50/50 chance of an acquittal, imo, (which means a ‘loss’ for the prosecution. How horrible a thought). The prosecutor was likely speculating that the jury may be more sympathetic towards the detective and less sympathetic towards the complaining witness. The young man, it would be argued by the defense, was proffering himself to be older than what he actually was; was very willingly ‘exploring his sexuality’ and was a very willing participant which continued for at least three years (we can call it a ‘relationship’).

Importantly, for all those who are morally outraged (and that includes me up to a point), keep in mind that we do NOT have ALL of the facts to make an informed judgment here.

Further speculation: When there was a ‘break up’ in their statutorily illegal ‘relationship’ for whatever reason, the young man THEN ‘dropped a dime’ on the detective. We do not know the motivation. He could have been blackmailing the detective. The detective may have found another young man and ‘dumped’ the teen who, in a fit of jealous rage, called the cops. We do not know.

I know of several cases in which government law enforcement agents were arrested, prosecuted, and served time for sex offenses (mostly CP offenses, but they do get sent to prison).

If this man wasn’t a cop, we would be saying that this was a “fair and just outcome”. Yes, there are disparities, and yes, sometimes cops DO get a break because they’re cops. No doubt about that. But I’m not sure that THIS case is one that we should get worked up over.

First, I know from experience that cops never get a break when they are brought up on criminal charges, particularly for sex offenses. I was a cop when I caught my charge and got absolutely no leniency. The only possible exception I can think of is a murder charge if it was in the line of duty. For all others, they get the smack laid down on them – and often harder than any other person in similar circumstances – if for no other reason to try to demonstrate that they don’t get special treatment.

Second, for such a comparatively lenient sentence, my gut tells me the prosecution didn’t have a very strong case. The burden of proof in sex offense cases is nearly non-existent these days, and meeting that burden would have been child’s play if the circumstances were anything near what was reported in the story. In all likelihood, this particular article is yet another example of how reporters ignore some facts and exaggerate others to make a more compelling story.

Last edited 2 years ago by Dustin