Osage Co. Sheriff pleads not guilty to criminal charges

Sheriff Michael Dixon steps out of the Osage County Courthouse briefly after his arraignment.

Osage County Sheriff Michael Dixon pleaded not guilty to one felony and four misdemeanors at his arraignment Thursday in Osage County Court. His Clayton, Missouri, based attorney, Travis Noble Jr., also requested a preliminary hearing.

The misdemeanors are first-degree sexual misconduct, third-degree assault, harassment and stalking.

These charges come after allegations from a female former coworker of Dixon's that he touched her with a flashlight in the genital area, made repeated comments of a sexual or suggestive nature and made many phone calls to her that were not work-related.

The felony charge of tampering with a motor vehicle stems from an alleged incident where Dixon used a four-wheeler without the owner's permission.

Dixon's attorney Thursday reiterated what Dixon said in a statement last month; Dixon believes the allegations are baseless.

"It's a he said/she said. And so we have a former disgruntled employee and she's now...I think, aligned with some people against Sheriff Dixon. And we believe we'll be able to show that these charges are not true," Noble said.

Noble said they believe the allegations may be politically motivated.

Phelps County Prosecutor John Beger, who was appointed special prosecutor for the case, has not yet responded to KRCG 13 for comment.

Noble says the Supreme Court will assign a judge to hear the preliminary hearing.