Ex-Missouri House speaker Jetton pleads guilty to sexual assault

Thursday, May 26, 2011 | 7:41 p.m. CDT

NEW MADRID — Former Missouri House speaker Rod Jetton has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor assault on a Sikeston woman during a sexual encounter in November 2009.

The 43-year-old Republican from the southeastern town of Marble Hill was initially charged with second-degree assault, punishable by up to seven years in prison. He had been scheduled for trial June 2.

Following Jetton's plea Thursday, Circuit Judge Fred Copeland placed him on probation and ordered him to pay $950 in restitution to the victim.

Jetton said he struck the woman in the face and choked her during sex at her home.

The Southeast Missourian reports that the woman was present for the plea agreement. The Scott County prosecutor said the woman agreed with the plea so she can move on with her life.

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