April 29, 2010
Jefferson City, Mo. - Attorney General Chris Koster said today a Scotland County jury found Robert Barnes, 48, guilty of four counts of statutory sodomy and one count of child molestation. The Attorney General's office assisted in the prosecution.
Koster said the crimes occurred in Memphis, Missouri, in 2001 while Barnes was babysitting the victim, the five-year-old son of a friend of Barnes. Trial was delayed nearly five years when Barnes fled to Oklahoma. He was arrested on a warrant in August 2008.
Koster said the state presented testimony and evidence to the jury on April 21 from eight witnesses, including the victim, now 14 years old. He said the jury took approximately 30 minutes to return guilty verdicts on all counts.
Barnes will be sentenced June 2. Koster said because Barnes has three prior felony convictions, he faces a possible maximum sentence of five consecutive life sentences.
"My deepest sympathy goes out to this young man and his family," Koster said. "Though justice was a long time coming, I'm pleased that our office was able to see that the man who committed these terrible crimes will be put behind bars."
Koster commended Douglas Pribble, Assistant Attorney General in his Public Safety Division, for his outstanding work in obtaining the conviction. Koster said the Scotland County prosecutor's office, sheriff's department, and court personnel provided excellent assistance and support to his office.