Audrain County Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger announces that Andrew Thompson, 34, of Mexico, Mo., was found guilty of one count of Statutory Rape in the First Degree, three counts of Statutory Sodomy in the First Degree, Child Molestation in the First Degree, and two counts of Sexual Misconduct Involving a Child. The jury found Thompson guilty of each of the seven charges after deliberating for nearly two hours. Thompson, who will be sentenced by Circuit Judge Wesley C. Dalton on June 13, faces a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum term of life imprisonment. Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Ashley Turner, and Shellabarger tried the case April 24 and 25 to a Audrain County jury of seven women and five men.
“Andrew Thompson had no remorse for what he put this young woman through when she was 12 years old,” said Turner. “This brave, smart and beautiful young woman had the courage to stand up and tell what happened to her. The jury was very attentive to the evidence, and stayed focused on the facts through the entire two-day trial, and I commend them for their verdict. Child sexual abuse is a cowardly crime. It’s a secret crime that makes a child feel as if they’ve done something wrong, and can scar a child’s body and their spirit. That’s why it is so important to investigate these cases professionally and to prosecute them aggressively. Predators who feed upon the vulnerability of these children are deserving of the full attention of law enforcement and the full extent of punishment provided by law.”
“I am particularly grateful for the envelope of support around this young woman,” Shellabarger said. “Our victim’s advocate, Debra Cheshier, and our community victims’ advocacy groups, including the Mid-Mo Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse, have been patient beyond measure and supportive through the entire criminal justice process, and will continue to provide that wrap-around support that is crucial for young victims – that they are supported, safe and protected. APA Ashley Turner’s hard work paid off in a well-tried case.”
“The multidisciplinary team cooperative approach to working child abuse and sexual abuse cases yields better results for victims,” Shellabarger said. “This case brought together Children’s Division, the State Technical Assistance Team from the Department of Social Services, the Audrain County Sheriff’s Office, the Rainbow House Child Advocacy Center, and my office to provide a clear, consistent and thorough investigation and prosecution. It is the team concept of experience, knowledge and combined resources allowed this case to be fully investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and allowing justice to prevail for these victims.”
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