Audrain County Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger announces that Andrew Thompson, 34, of Mexico, Missouri, was sentenced on June 16, 2014, to 75 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The sentences of 25 years on one count of Statutory Rape in the First Degree, 25 years on each of three counts of Statutory Sodomy in the First Degree, 15 years on Child Molestation in the First Degree, and four years confinement on two counts of Sexual Misconduct Involving a Child. The Rape and Sodomy charges will be served consecutive to one another. Thompson was sentenced by Audrain County Circuit Judge Wesley C. Dalton. Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Ashley Turner and Shellabarger tried the case April 24 and 25 to an Audrain County jury of seven women and five men. The jury found Thompson guilty of each of the seven charges after deliberating for nearly two hours.
“The sentence in this case is appropriate and firm given the circumstances of this case,” said Turner. “This brave, smart, and beautiful young woman had the courage to stand up and tell what happened to her. Andrew Thompson had no remorse for what he put this young woman through. 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. This sentence supports that.”
“This sentence ensures a dangerous predator will not ever return to our community,” Shellabarger said. “It says wonders about our community when an envelope of support surrounds a young woman who needs its support to share her story. Our victim’s advocate, Debra Cheshier, and our community victims’ advocacy groups, including ACCIS, and 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 and a just, strong sentence.”
“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.”