Shannon County Couple Arrested for Incest, Child Abuse

By KOLR10 News

Published 02/27 2014 03:27PM

Updated 03/28 2014 06:37PM

EMINENCE, Mo. – A Shannon County couple is in custody on multiple charges of child endangerment, abuse or neglect and sexual abuse or exploitation involving young relatives.

James E. Vanwinkle, 49, and his girlfriend Samantha K. Becker, 37, were arrested in late January after one of the children was interviewed at a Winona Head Start, where she is a student.

Vanwinkle is charged with three felonies – endangering the welfare of a child, incest, and a combined charge of statutory sodomy/deviate sexual intercourse with a person under age 12/displaying a deadly weapon/subjecting a victim under the age of 12 to intercourse with more than one person.

Becker is charged with felony first-degree endangering the welfare of a child and felony abuse or neglect of a child under the age of 14 and sexual abuse/exploitation.

Probable cause statements filed in the cases against the two, who lived in the 600 block of Cemetery Road in Winona, detail multiple accusations of sexual activity with young relatives, including instances when young male relatives engaged in sexual activity with young female relatives.

The children involved in the case have been removed from their homes.

Both Vanwinkle and Becker are in the Shannon County Jail in lieu of bond. Vanwinkle is held on a total of $500,000 bond, Becker on $300,000.

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