AG Hawley Announces Phelps County Conviction

Aug 18, 2017, 12:13 PM
Aug 18, 2017, 12:11 PM

Jefferson City, Mo. — Attorney General Joshua Hawley announced that a Phelps County jury has found Charles Curnutt, 51, of Houston, guilty of statutory sodomy, endangering the welfare of a child, and four counts of child molestation for sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl over the course of several months. The case was heard on a change of venue from Texas County.

“I promised that my office would commit and prosecute to the full extent of the law anyone who preyed upon our children and endangered our communities,” Hawley said. “Thanks to the excellent work of law enforcement and our attorneys, as well as the courageous efforts of this young lady, justice has been served and Phelps County is safer.”

The jury watched a recorded interview of the victim in which she described in detail the acts perpetrated upon her by the defendant. Her account was corroborated by testimony of a nurse practitioner confirming physical injuries to the child, the testimony of Missouri State Highway Patrol officers that located the clothing the victim described having worn during the abuse in the defendant’s home, and Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab technician that found high levels of the defendant’s DNA on the crotch of the victim’s pajamas.

The jury took less than three hours to find Curnutt guilty of all six counts.

Phelps County Circuit Judge John Beger has set Curnutt’s sentencing for November 27 at 1pm in Texas County. Curnutt faces up to life plus 67 years. Assistant Attorney General Katharine Dolin tried the case as Texas County prosecuting attorney Parke Stevens had a conflict of interest.