Benjamin A. Thomas

SALINE COUNTY, Mo. — An officer with the Slater Police Department was charged in Saline County today and is accused of an inappropriate and illegal sexual relationship with an underage girl.

According to the probable cause statement, the Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated reports which were received by Saline County Sheriff Cindi Mullins and passed on to the Highway Patrol.

Benjamin Adam Thomas, 29, of Salter, is alleged to have had a sexual and romantic relationship with an unnamed 16-year old girl. Multiple witness were interviewed in the investigation by the Highway Patrol and, according to the probable cause statement, confirmed the juvenile female and Thomas had been seen engaging in flirtatious activity.

An officer made a request to the girl’s mother for permission to access her cell phone and was granted the go ahead. Upon examination messages were found where the officer had professed his love to the 16 year old, and vice versa. Photos of the pair together in various locations and in a vehicle were discovered on the device in addition to inappropriate text, Facebook and Snapchat messages.

One witness reported overhearing the juvenile female talking about having sexual intercourse with Thomas. The officer was interviewed by MSHP officials and told them that he considers the underage girl his “girlfriend” and described their relationship in an intimate way.

The Slater Police Department was available for a statement and said, “We are aware of the investigation into an officer with the Slater Police Department, he is currently suspended from duty at this time.” When asked if Thomas was on paid-leave or not, the secretary declined to comment.

Thomas is facing a felony charge of statutory sodomy in the second degree. Bond has been set at $15,000 cash only. He has been ordered to not use drugs or alcohol and to not have contact with the 16-year-old female or her family.