Missouri law makes it a crime to have sex with another individual who is under the age of 14. It is a first degree felony, and the penalties for conviction are severe. The potential ramifications of even being accused of a crime like statutory rape go far beyond any possible jail time. Anyone charged with this crime will likely carry the stigma of the accusation for life.
Acting on a tip, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office had an investigator from “Kids Harbor Too” interview a now 14-year-old girl regarding whether she had sexual intercourse with a 22-year-old man. The girl alleges that the 22-year-old man had sexual intercourse with her twice between May and July on a dirt road outside Crocker. The Sheriff’s Office asserts that a witness has confirmed parts of the girl’s story.
Police thereafter interviewed the 22-year-old Missouri man the young girl claims had sexual intercourse with her. The man was subsequently arrested on two counts of first degree statutory rape. The man was being held on $100,000.00 bond.
In the United States, everyone is innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. Whether this man ends up being convicted of the charges against him will be up to either a judge or a jury of his peers. A crime such as statutory rape can often end up a game of “he said, she said” that plays out in a court of law. It is the prosecutor’s job to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused actually committed a crime. In this case, since a witness can only confirm parts of the girl’s story, and we do not even know which part, reasonable doubt may well exist as to whether the man is guilty.
Source: kmov.com, “Pulaski County man charged with statutory rape of 13-year-old girl,” Kaitlin Riordan, Sep. 1, 2012