Federal indictment for St. Louis-area officer accused of sexual abuse of arrestees

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ST. LOUIS – A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment on Wednesday, charging a former St. Louis-area police officer with more than a dozen new counts of sexual abuse of men he’d detained or arrested.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Marcellis Blackwell, 34, fondled the genitals of 19 victims who were in his custody. He’s also accused of sodomizing one of the men and altering the records of another man’s arrest.

Wednesday’s indictment charges Blackwell with 19 counts of deprivation of rights under color law (the right to bodily integrity) and 17 counts of altering records in a federal investigation.

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Police and prosecutors claim the crimes occurred between Nov. 8, 2022 and June 5, 2023.

The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Blackwell in June 2023 with forcible sodomy and kidnapping after his alleged sex abuse of an arrestee. The North County Police Cooperative conducted its own investigation and contacted the FBI. In September 2023, federal prosecutors charged Blackwell with 16 felony counts of deprivation of rights and five counts of falsifying records for allegedly turning off his body cam.

The FBI St. Louis Office has established a hotline for any potential victims who wish to come forward: 314-589-2682.


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