- Associated Press - Sunday, March 27, 2016

STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. (AP) - Missouri state police are investigating the jail death of a former sheriff’s deputy who was facing federal and state charges of sexually abusing women and enticing a minor into prostitution.

Marty Rainey was found dead Saturday morning in the Ste. Genevieve County jail, sheriff’s Maj. Jason Schott told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1VOUC06 ). The death of the 52-year-old Rainey, who lived in Sullivan and formerly worked as a deputy in Gasconade County in east-central Missouri, appears to be a suicide, Schott said. He declined to say whether Rainey had been on suicide watch.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s investigation of the “in-custody death” is standard procedure, Schott said.

Court documents allege Rainey would threaten or coerce women into having sex while he was on duty.

A federal grand jury indicted Rainey on March 2 in St. Louis on a charge of enticement of a minor to engage in a commercial sex act and four counts of deprivation of rights under color of law.

Rainey, who served as a police officer for the Missouri communities of Hermann and Rosebud while also doing the deputy job, had already been charged in state court in January of last year with two counts each of sexual assault and acceding to corruption by a public servant, as well as statutory rape and use of a child in a sexual performance.

Rainey’s attorney, Christian Goeke, said federal marshals told him about Rainey’s death. Goeke had been trying to get Rainey released on bail before trial on the federal charges. Prosecutors opposed the release, partly because of the serious nature of the charges and concerns about Rainey’s mental health.

“(Rainey’s death) is certainly not an outcome that our office was seeking. I have sympathy for this family,” U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan said.

A Rainey acquaintance, 47-year-old Jonathan Pohlmann, pleaded guilty Monday to a federal charge of conspiracy to violate civil rights. He had been accused of conspiring with the former deputy in assaults on women.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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