MARSHFIELD, Mo. – Another of the eight men accused of multiple crimes against children in Webster County has been sentenced to two seven-year terms in prison, with the possibility of parole after spending time in the state’s sex offender assessment program.

Online court records show Joseph Brian Hardy was sentenced Monday on his guilty pleas to two counts of statutory sodomy.

He will be in state custody during the assessment period and a judge will determine whether he is a candidate for probation based on that evaluation.

Hardy was charged after officers were dispatched to a scene where a woman reported a juvenile had been sexually assaulted and the perpetrator was also at the scene. Officers searched the area, but Hardy had walked off into the woods.

The juvenile was not at the scene, but at a friend’s house.

The 16-year-old juvenile later told interviewers that Hardy had touched her inappropriately in her bed. Hardy later turned himself in at the Sheriff’s Office. At first, he claimed to have had no sexual contact with the teenager, but later said he thought the interactions were consensual.

Also charged in connection with the alleged assaults were:

  • Brothers Joey Rippee and Collyn Rippee, each charged with statutory rape or sodomy counts. They are to appear in court Sep. 19, 2022
  • Their father, Terry Rippee, is to stand trial in January 2023 on charges of sexual misconduct involving a child and eight counts of statutory sodomy,
  • Jeremy Russell, who was sentenced to seven years for child molestation
  • Bobby Smith, charged with statutory sodomy and scheduled in court for a hearing on Sept. 12, 2022.
  • Alan Gilliam – Charged with five counts of second-degree statutory rape and set for trial on Oct. 20, 2022.
  • Chance Raubs, charged with abuse or neglect of a child, but no sexual contact, is to be in court for a hearing on Aug. 29, 2022.

Probable cause statements for the Rippee, Russell and Gilliam cases identify numerous sexual encounters with a girl when she was between the ages of 12-17. Court documents say she went to the Webster County Sheriff’s Office with new details she had recently remembered after attending therapy.

A woman and her daughter came to the Webster County Sheriff’s Office to talk about sexual misconduct one of the suspects, Bobby Smith had with the victim in 2017 when the mother and her children lived with Smith and his wife while the mother was separating from her husband.

Raubs is charged with child abuse after a woman told investigators he had spanked her child with a plastic hanger because spanking was no longer working. She said he also made the child stand under cold water until he is “blue or until he figures out his lesson” when he defecates in his diaper.