Sergeant accused of helping woman avoid community service

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BEL-RIDGE, Mo. (AP) _ Police in a small city northwest of St. Louis have accused a sergeant of writing a bogus letter to a probation officer to help a woman avoid a community service requirement in a drug case.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( ) reports that officers in Bel-Ridge presented the case in February to St. Louis County prosecutors, seeking charges against the sergeant.

A prosecutor working underneath St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch took the officers’ accusation under investigation. But he petitioned the judge in 45-year-old Paula Muscarella’s drug case to revoke her probation and send her to jail.

Muscarella told authorities she had agreed to help cater the sergeant’s wedding in exchange for the letter. She was arrested March 29 and is being held without bail for violating her probation in the drug case.