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St. Louis senior citizen arrested for harassment of teen, mother

Police in St. Louis are reportedly looking for additional victims possibly related to a current arrest. Often a sex offense investigation will unearth other incidents of alleged criminal sexual misconduct attributable to the individual. In addition, there are occasions when charges filed against a person are not sex crimes in the typical sense of the word, although some manner of sexual gratification may be the underlying motive.

A somewhat unusual arrest was made in St. Louis County. An 80-year-old man is presently jailed on $50,000 bail facing felony and misdemeanor harassment charges.

Police report that the man allegedly attempted to lure a young girl and her mother into his car on separate occasions. Records show this is not his first run-in with the law. He reportedly has a history of this type of behavior and has admitted to other episodes over the last 30 years.

In 2007, he was arrested for trying to get a 19-year-old woman into his car and was charged with misdemeanor peace disturbance. He pleaded guilty in 2008 and, as his first offense, received probation for six months. According to police, he was suspected in other cases, some of which involved teens accepting rides. Their statements to police indicate they found themselves in conversations with the man about sex.

According to court records, he approached a 12-year-old girl last February, offering her candy to get in his car. She ran away, and her mother noted the car. On March 13, he allegedly returned to the street and offered the mother a ride. She refused. Five days later, police say he tried once again. This time, the mother felt threatened by his demeanor and called the police. Her description led to the man's arrest.

Although not technically facing sexual crime charges, the victims' allegations may be publicly construed as sexual. A strong advocate can help assure that the rights of the accused are protected. Dealing with prosecutors, determining if a trial would be helpful or harmful and safeguarding the well-being of an elderly defendant requires experience and skill.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "St. Louis County octogenarian charged with trying to lure girl, woman into car" Kim Bell, May. 27, 2014

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