Osage County Sheriff arraigned for harassment, stalking charges

LINN, Mo. - The sheriff of Osage County was arraigned Thursday on several charges.

Sheriff Michael Dixon was arraigned for a felony charge for tampering and four misdemeanors: sexual misconduct, third-degree assault, harassment and stalking.

The allegations against Osage County Sheriff Michael Dixon surfaced in July. Then, a special prosecutor charged Dixon in September.

Dixon and his lawyer said there a few things that do not add up. They say the victim is a former disgruntled employee that Dixon had to investigate for misconduct. Dixon's attorney, Travis Noble, said he's willing to take this to trial.

Dixon pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and requested a preliminary hearing where evidence can be presented by both sides. Noble said the sheriff is innocent and they have serious questions about the allegations.

"The complaints that she's made are suspicious in terms of how they were made and who they were made to and how and when this all came out," Noble said.

According to court documents, the victim, a Belle police officer, claims Dixon inappropriately touched her with a flashlight. He allegedly went to her house, called her repeatedly, and even asked police dispatch for help.

Dixon was charged with felony tampering for allegedly taking an ATV that belonged to the victim's fiance in order to find her one night.

Noble said the allegations may be politically motivated as well. He said he's going to be collecting cell phone records, text messages and witness statements to see why it took so long for allegations to be brought up and why they were made.

Noble said they're still debating whether the trial should be held in Osage County or another location.

"They probably would be in a better position potentially, as to deciding whether or not this could or could not be politically motivated, and whether this complaining witness is truthful or not," Noble said.

Dixon claims the allegations haven't affected his ability to do his job as Osage County sheriff. Noble said he and Dixon did briefly discussed the possibilities of him resigning, but said that will not happen because he maintains his innocence.

The Missouri Supreme Court has assigned Judge Richard Bresnahan to the case.

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