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St. Louis police officer charged with child molestation, arrested at headquarters

Mark West, a 27-year veteran of the force, is facing three charges of child molestation
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — Missouri Highway Patrol troopers escorted a St. Louis police officer out of police headquarters in handcuffs Monday on suspicion of child molestation.

Prosecutors in Ste. Genevieve County charged St. Louis Officer Mark West with three counts of second-degree child molestation involving a victim younger than 12 years old, according to court documents.

Prosecutors asked for a $100,000 bail “due to the number and serious nature of the offenses and because the defendant constitutes a threat to the victim and other children he may encounter,” according to the documents.

Prosecutors also sealed the charges from the public until West’s arrest “due to the fact that the defendant is a police officer in St. Louis and as a condition of such is armed with a firearm and could pose a threat to himself, others or officers who would serve the warrant.”

Prosecutors allege West molested a child in a swimming pool on August 29, 2021, as well as on several other occasions at a subdivision pool and lake known as the Grayhawk Lake Development where West lives in Ste. Genevieve County between May 1 and September 1, according to the documents.

The Missouri Highway Patrol conducted the investigation.

West knew the victim, and the victim confided the alleged abuse to a parent, according to the documents.

The St. Louis Police Department issued a statement confirming West has worked for the department since 1994, and remains employed.

The department would not say whether West has been disciplined because of the arrest, citing a personnel privacy policy.