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MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Maryville city and school officials say they are on heightened alert in response to negative attention the city is receiving over a sexual abuse case.

City, school and police officials say they are concerned about reaction expressed on social media and in phone calls after the Nodaway County prosecutor decided to drop sexual assault charges against two 17-year-old boys who were accused of sexually assaulting two younger girls.

On Monday, the activist group Anonymous released an online statement criticizing the city and police for not prosecuting the case. However, the case was handled by Nodaway County, not the city.

The Maryville Daily Forum reports police are increasing patrols to protect anyone involved with the case and school officials met Monday at all three city schools to discuss security.

Published in Local News

TROY, Mo. (AP) - A former St. Charles County middle school teacher has been sentenced to seven years in prison for secretly videotaping boys as they undressed in a camp shower.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 39-year-old Matthew Hansen of Winfield was sentenced last week for possession of child pornography. Hansen is also awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in federal court to eight counts of attempted production of child porn. The state and federal sentences will run concurrently.

Hansen is a former math teacher at West Middle School in the Fort Zumwalt district.

Authorities say the crimes happened between 2007 and 2012. School officials have cited evidence that Hansen videotaped at least 80 boys at an outdoor education camp in Cuivre River State Park in Lincoln County.

Published in Local News

St. Louis County Police have officially charged a South County school teacher with sexual assault.

Forty seven year old James Wilder III was arrested at Sperreng Middle School on Tuesday and charged Wednesday with six counts of second-degree sodomy for crimes that prosecutors say occurred between August 1996 and September 1997.

The alleged victim, who was 16 years old at the time, came forward this summer with the allegations. In Missouri, if a victim of a sexual crime is younger than 18, prosecution must start within 30 years after the victim reaches age 18. Wilder is being held in the St. Louis County jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond. 

Published in Local News

An admitted sex offender is charged for allegedly molesting a nine-year-old girl.

Police say the girl identified 48-year-old Hershel Brown--who is a family friend--as the abuser. The incident allegedly happened late last month. Brown faces several sex crimes charges, including failing to register as a sex offender. He pleaded guilty to forcible rape in 2003 and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Hershel is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Published in Local News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Penn State's former president told investigators that he knew better than to jump to conclusions that Jerry Sandusky's "horsing around" in a university shower naked with a boy could have been sexual in nature.

Graham Spanier made the comment during April 2011 grand jury testimony that was read aloud for the first time in a Harrisburg courtroom Tuesday.

The hearing for Spanier and two other former university officials is to decide whether there's enough evidence to warrant a trial on the charges against them in the child-sex abuse scandal.

Prosecutors say the defendants failed to tell police about a sex-abuse allegation against Sandusky in 2001. But the defendants say they weren't told that Sandusky was molesting the boy.

Police also investigated complaints about Sandusky showering with boys in 1998, but Spanier says he knew nothing about that.

Published in National News

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - Lawyers representing a U.S. Army general facing sexual assault charges are asking a military judge to force prosecutors to turn over any e-mails related to the case sent or received by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

 

   A court martial is set to begin at Fort Bragg next month for Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair on charges including forcible sodomy, indecent acts and violating orders.

 

   In a motion filed Tuesday as part of a pre-trial hearing, lawyers for Sinclair argue top Pentagon brass were receiving regular updates last year on the investigation and may have encouraged subordinates to make an example of Sinclair. It is unlawful in the military justice system for senior commanders to interfere in criminal cases.

 

   Two of Sinclair's commanders testified earlier this month there was no such pressure.

Published in National News
Tuesday, 21 May 2013 15:48

Man convicted for molesting child

A north county man is headed to jail after a jury convicted him of molesting a child.

Richard Williams was found guilty of five charges in all. Williams molested the child, who was under twelve when the abuse occurred, between 2010 and 2011.

Prosecutors say Williams was friends with one of the child's grandparents. 

 

Published in Local News
A former Boy Scout troop volunteer will be sentenced in May after being convicted of a dozen counts of sexual abuse involving a teenage boy.

St. Clair County jurors Thursday convicted 55 year old John Demers after less than two hours of deliberation.

The charges involved a teenager who said Demers had inappropriate contact with him between 2005 and 2011.

Demer's attorney says his client maintains his innocence.
Published in Local News
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest whose decades-old molestation of a former altar boy led to a $6.3 million payout in an Illinois lawsuit has been kicked out of the priesthood by Pope Benedict XVI.

Diocese of Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton announced the move involving 78-year-old Raymond Kownacki in a statement published in a recent edition of the diocesan newspaper, The Messenger. Braxton says the papal decree calls the defrocking "for the good of the church."

Kownacki is living in a St. Louis-area nursing home and has refused media requests for interviews. He has not been charged criminally.

Kownacki's misdeeds resulted in a $5 million jury award against the diocese to James Wisniewski in 2008. That payout grew to $6.3 million to reflect interest that accrued while the diocese appealed.
Published in Local News
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