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Caught on camera: Jefferson County municipal prosecutor dismisses woman's cases after sex act

The victim recorded the March 2021 encounter on her cellphone.
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — A former Jefferson County municipal prosecutor told a woman with multiple cases pending before him, "I can be a very valuable friend," before engaging in a sex act with her and dismissing her cases.

It's one of several statements James Isaac "Ike" Crabtree made during an 11-minute cellphone video the victim recorded during an after-hours meeting at the former prosecutor's office in March 2021.  

The I-Team obtained the video after it was entered into evidence in Crabtree's federal case.

Crabtree resigned in March and was indicted in April. In August, Crabtree pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and violating the victim’s right to bodily integrity.

A federal judge postponed his sentencing Tuesday until Dec. 7.

Ahead of what was supposed to be the sentencing hearing Tuesday, the victim submitted an impact statement.

It read, in part:

“As a result of Mr. Crabtree’s conduct, my life has been devastated. When we first came into contact, I trusted him. He seemed so kind and concerned. He seemed like he truly wanted to help. I had no idea what would actually happen. When I showed up to the courthouse and his office, I trusted him. Instead of an officer of the court and a true prosecutor, I found out that I encountered a monster and a person not deserving of the titles and office bestowed upon him.”

RELATED: Jefferson County municipal prosecutor federally indicted for sexual assault of woman with cases before him

In the statement, the victim said Crabtree threatened to interfere with her “other legal matters” and showed up at her place of employment unannounced.

“Since then, I have not really worked. I have lived in fear. I lost my home. I lost my children. I lost the ability to trust anyone,” the victim said. 

The victim kept her cellphone on her lap and pointed toward her stomach for most of the video, so only voices can be heard. When she moves the phone to her purse, Crabtree can be seen for a few seconds.

Less than a minute into their meeting, Crabtree asked the woman if she was wearing a wire.

Four minutes later, he told her: “You are just breathtaking.” 

“I don't know if you're, like, picking up when I'm, like, laying down, but I, I mean, if you're not interested in that, that's cool, no strings attached,” he said.

“I mean, I have a boyfriend,” she said. “So, like, anything like that can be, like, super professional because...”.

“OK here, I'm married,” he interrupted. 

The victim told Crabtree she would not have sex.

“I'm not like a prostitute,” she said.

“No, no, of course, no, no, no, of course not,” Crabtree said. “I'm trying to help you. You've got kids.”

Seven minutes after the recording began, Crabtree can be heard asking the woman to see her body and kissing her.

“I'm going to be your friend forever,” he said.  

He continued: “I'm going to dismiss your cases.” 

Sources familiar with the case told the I-Team Crabtree locked the door to his office during the incident.

The indictment also alleged Crabtree lied to the FBI during an interview with agents on March 3 when he denied kissing the victim, touching her body and having her take off a portion of her clothing during the meeting at the courthouse.

At the time of the indictment, investigators said they believed there could be other victims.

The civil rights charge carries a penalty of up to a year in prison, a $100,000 fine, or both, and the charge of lying to the FBI carries a maximum penalty of five years and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith, a senior litigation counsel for the Eastern District of Missouri, is handling the case.

He issued a statement following Crabtree’s indictment, which read: 

“The United States Attorney’s Office appreciates the courage shown by the female victim in this case to come forward and bring this defendant’s alleged criminal conduct to light.”

In her victim impact statement, the victim also thanked Goldsmith, the FBI, Special Agent Eric Field and the court for “believing in me and helping me attain justice when I felt like no one would ever listen.”

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