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Missouri man faces life in prison for statutory rape

A Rogersville, Missouri, man is facing life in prison after being brought up on charges of sodomy and statutory rape. According to reports, the 41-year-old allegedly had sexual interactions with an underage female from April 2011 to April 2013. Police say that the girl was interviewed in July 2013 as part of an investigation and allegedly gave the officers details on the interactions with the 41-year-old. The man was reportedly interview in August 2013, but nothing the man said was considered an admission of guilt.

The man was not formally charged until July of this year, and the Webster County Prosecutor said this was because there was a delay in getting the interview tapes. She also reported that the Missouri State Technical Assistance Team's high volume of cases and the need for additional corroborating interviews were also factors in the timing.

Second-degree statutory sodomy is a Class C felony, carrying a possible sentence of two to seven years in prison, while the maximum sentence for statutory rape is life. At the time of reports, the man was being held on $50,000 bond and was scheduled to appears in court on Aug. 11 for a preliminary hearing.

Even consensual sexual encounters can be considered crimes under Missouri law if one of the parties is underage, and the consequences are far-reaching, even beyond any time spent in the Missouri Department of Corrections. A sex crimes conviction can affect everything from where a person can live to what kind of job he or she can have after any prison time is served. Those accused are still presumed innocent until proven guilty, however, and defendants should make every effort to gather the information they need to protect their rights.

Source: South County Mail, "Rogersville man charged with pair of sex crimes" Mike Cullinan, Jul. 28, 2014

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