Former House Speaker Rod Jetton has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault, avoiding a trial on charges that he struck and choked a woman during an evening of rough sex at her home in Sikeston.
A trial had been scheduled for early June on charges brought against Jetton by Mary Elizabeth Lowe. Lowe charged that Jetton forced himself on her in Novebmer of 2009.
The Southeast Missourian reports Jetton pleaded guilty before Judge Fred Copeland this afternoon in a New Madrid court. Copeland placed Jetton on probation and ordered him to pay $950 in restitution to Lowe, who attended the court hearing. Jetton has also been ordered to pay the $300 court cost. Once those debts are paid, Jetton will be released from probation in accordance with the plea agreement.
Jetton, a Republican from Marble Hill, first won election to the House in 2000. He quickly rose through the ranks, elected first as Speaker Pro Tem by a Republican Caucus grateful for his relentless behind-the-scenes work that led to a Republican majority for the first time in decades. The House elected him Speaker during the 2005 legislative session. He served as Speaker for two terms, a total of four years.