Audrain County Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger announced on January 29 that Jimmy Dale Burns, age 44, of Mexico, Mo., was found guilty of Attempted Statutory Sodomy in the First Degree and Resisting Arrest, both felonies, after a jury trial in Audrain County.
The eight-man, four-woman jury returned a guilty verdict after approximately one hour of deliberations at the Audrain County Courthouse in Mexico. The attempted statutory sodomy, involving sexual contact with a girl who was 8 years old at the time, occurred in the Summer of 2017 in Mexico. Burns resisted arrest when arrested for the crime, threatening and fighting with officers who came to his home to speak with him. Burns, who will be sentenced by Circuit Judge Wesley C. Dalton on March 16, faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum term of more than 37 years imprisonment. Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger tried the case on January 29.
“Our community’s children deserved to be protected from abusers like Jimmy Burns, who took advantage of a local family’s trust to gain access to this child to molest,” Shellabarger said. “This family gave Jimmy Burns generously, and he betrayed that trust by molesting a young girl. These parents, and family, did exactly what we ask families to do: trust their gut and listen to their children–to take a child’s concern and comments to heart. When their daughter said she had been touched inappropriately, they listened, believed her, and took action–these parents are heroes for their children. Because of a jury’s verdict, this beautiful young woman can grow and heal having told the truth about what Jimmy Burns did to her–and can know that our community supported her and her family when she told the truth. This jury delivered a firm, powerful message that when children are hurt in our community that our community will hold the guilty accountable, protect the innocent and ensure a fair trial. This case was difficult for jurors to listen to in that it was evidence of sexual abuse to a young child, but I commend them for the focus, attention and resolve in seeing the case through to a just guilty verdict. Justice has come for that little girl. I wanted to thank the Mid-Mo Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) who was a steady and long-lasting support for the family involved in this case. BACA is the embodiment of a solid rock of support for families living through this crime, and live their motto that ‘No Child Should Live in Fear.’ They have been shoulders to cry on, warm hugs of support and a hard line against abusive behavior, and have shared laughs and love freely when needed. I also want to acknowledge the investigation done by the Mexico Public Safety Department, the Missouri Children’s Division investigators, and the Rainbow House Regional Child Advocacy Center, which gave this girl a safe place to tell about what happened to her. This multidisciplinary team spent many hours making sure justice was done for this child and that she did not go into the courtroom alone, but surrounded by solid evidence and support.”
The case number is 17AU-CR00457-01.