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Rinehart case is resolved

Friday, July 9, 2004

BLOOMFIELD - The criminal case against former Dexter Police Chief Kenny Rinehart "has been resolved," according to Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Briney Welborn.

"In return for Kenny Rinehart admitting the allegations of the grand jury indictment, charging him with the Class D felony of hindering prosecution, the state has agreed to defer prosecution of the matter at this time," Welborn said in his statement.

Under oath and in writing, Rinehart admitted he met with Robert Kennedy in a secluded location and that while there, they agreed to keep the criminal sexual acts of Kennedy against a female secret between them. Rinehart then wrote a reprimand to Kennedy, but in the reprimand, Rinehart stated the sexual acts between Kennedy and the female were by agreement while he knew them to be criminal. Rinehart further admitted that although he knew of the criminal sexual acts of Kennedy, he did not report the crimes for independent investigation or for criminal prosecution.

"In the interest of justice," Welborn noted, "the state felt that upon these admissions the prosecution should be deferred at this time."

He said Rinehart is no longer involved in law enforcement and the victims have been compensated in an approximate amount of $250,000.

"In view of the above, the uncertainty of trial, the punishment, in my view, is adequate and I would like to thank the officers, witnesses as well as grand jury members involved in this matter," he said.