The trial has begun for married Columbia, Missouri police officer Steven Arthur Rios who is accused of having an affair with 23-year-old college student Jesse James Valencia and murdering him for fear he would be exposed as a homosexual.
“Last spring, the paths of the two men intersected when Rios arrested Valencia for mouthing off to officers who were breaking up a noisy off-campus party,” Court TV reports. “If such town-and-gown collisions in Columbia are routine, what followed was not. The married cop and the gay student embarked on a wild sexual affair, which authorities say led to Valencia’s brutal murder at Rios’ hands.”
This case has “mesmerized” Columbia, where the University of Missouri is located, and rightly so. This tragedy includes a sexual encounter between Valencia and another student which Rios interrupted, and then allegedly joined, an escape by the officer from a mental health facility to a ledge where he intended to commit suicide, and a devoted wife and child.
Valencia was an openly gay student and an advocate for same sex marriage who ended up on a lawn with a four inch gash in his throat by an officer of the law determined to keep a secret.
The closet sure is an ugly place.