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Ash Grove Man Faces Life in Prison for Sexually Abusing Two Relatives

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. – An Ash Grove man faces spending the rest of his life in prison after being convicted Jan. 9 of statutory sodomy and numerous other charges for sexually abusing two of his relatives between 2008 and 2011.
GREENE COUNTY, Mo. – An Ash Grove man faces spending the rest of his life in prison after being convicted Jan. 9 of statutory sodomy and numerous other charges for sexually abusing two of his relatives between 2008 and 2011.

According to a news release from the Greene County Prosecutors Office, Brett Sanders, 54, was convicted of three counts of first degree statutory sodomy, sexual misconduct involving a child, two counts of first degree child molestation and two counts of second degree child molestation.

At the time of the abuse, both victims were under the age of 12 and lived in Greene County until they moved away from Sanders to another state.

Neither victim disclosed the abuse until they moved.  One of the girls said she did not tell anyone about the abuse because Sanders threatened her with a gun. The younger girl said she didn’t tell because she was scared. 

The older sister said she would try to protect the younger from the abuse. She said that every time the defendant would go after her little sister, she would try to draw Sanders’ attention away and focus on her, even though she knew that it would mean that she would be abused more.

The victims’ mother testified at trial and discussed the long-term effects on her daughters. She testified that the older daughter began cutting herself to relieve the pain. She testified that her youngest daughter began wetting the bed every night and continues to do so to this day. She further stated that her daughters were scared of going to the bathroom alone and didn’t want to be left alone with men.

During sentencing, the jury also heard from the Sanders’ adult niece, who testified that she was also sexually abused as a teenager.

Sanders’ attorney argued for the minimum sentence on each charge, claiming that Sanders’ niece was fabricating the abuse for attention and the children were not really affected by the abuse.  The attorney argued that the older sister only cut her arms and wrists once, which was evidence that she was not that damaged, according to a statement from the Greene County Prosecutors Office.

The State argued the children were deeply affected by the abuse and would probably suffer the consequences for the rest of their lives.

A request for a 20-year prison sentence was requested by the State and, after hearing evidence and argument, the jury came to a recommended sentence.

The jury recommended a life sentence for the conviction for statutory sodomy in the first degree, a life sentence for the conviction for statutory sodomy in the first degree, a 4 year sentence for the conviction for sexual misconduct involving a child, a 10 year sentence for the conviction for child molestation in the first degree, a life sentence for the conviction for statutory sodomy in the first degree, and a 10 year sentence for the conviction for child molestation in the first degree.

Following the jury’s verdict, Sanders was taken into custody and is currently being held in the Greene County Jail without bond. A sentencing hearing is set for March 14, 2014 at 2:30 p.m.
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