West Plains Man Charged With Child Molestation, Sexual Misconduct

WEST PLAINS, Mo. - A West Plains man faces a a number of child molestation and sexual misconduct charges.

Online court records indicate 42-year-old Matthew Furniss was arrested April 13 on charges of statutory sodomy or attempted statutory sodomy, 1st degree sexual abuse of a child, 1st degree child molestation, felony endangering the welfare of a child, felony sexual misconduct involving a child under 15 years of age, and incest.

Court documents obtained by Ozark Radio News state that a Jonesboro, Ark. woman contacted the West Plains Police Department on February 14 to report her 9-year-old daughter had informed her that Furniss molested her during a visit at his West Plains home in November 2017.

The child was interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center on February 21 and stated she was sleeping in Furniss’ bed that evening, and woke up to find him molesting her while he touched himself. The girl left the room when she thought Furniss had fallen asleep and spent the rest of the night in another room. Furniss reportedly told her the next day to not tell anyone about the incident.

Furniss was interviewed at the West Plains Police Department on March 5 and reportedly admitted to masturbating while the child was sleeping but denied touching the girl, stating that he believed she was asleep at the time.

After a polygraph exam on March 13, Furniss reportedly admitted to touching the girl, and claimed he was under the influence of crystal meth when the incident took place. Detective Joe Neuschwander states that Furniss voluntarily wrote an apology letter to the girl after the interview.

At report time, Furniss was held on $100,000 bond. No court date was set in online court records.

(Ed Button, Ozark Radio News)

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