Former Marble Hill police chief sentenced to 9 months

scales of justice gavel (Source: Pexels/Sora Shimazaki)
scales of justice gavel (Source: Pexels/Sora Shimazaki)

ST. LOUIS (KBSI) – A former police chief of Marble Hill was sentenced to nine months behind bars for using excessive force while detaining a woman during a custody dispute.

Marc F. Tragesser, 55, was police chief at the time when he went to the Marble Hill home where a woman was staying on Nov. 25, 2018. He was accompanied by the paternal grandmother of the woman’s children, and falsely claimed he had a court order allowing the grandmother to take the children, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Missouri.

When the woman asked to see a copy of the court order, Tragesser shoved her against the wall, knocking off her eyeglasses, and then handcuffed her, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Missouri.

He also arrested her boyfriend.

Tragesser detained the woman in his police vehicle for 90 minutes and only released her when she agreed to turn over her children to their grandmother, his plea says. The grandmother did not have custody or visitation rights. Tragesser continued to refuse her requests to see the court order. The woman did not see her children again until March of 2019.

Earlier in the day, he threatened to arrest the homeowners, and allowed the grandmother to take property from the home, only some of which belonged to her son, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Missouri.

Tragesser pleaded guilty in January to a misdemeanor charge of deprivation of rights under color of law, which carries a maximum penalty of one year behind bars.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Clark sentenced Tragesser.

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