Missouri Attorney General’s Office Secures 37 Commitments of Sexually Violent Predators Since 2019
Sep 28, 2022, 15:30 PM
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced today that his Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Unit has ensured the civil commitment of thirty-seven sexually violent predators since January 2019, when he was sworn in as Attorney General. The Sexually Violent Predator Unit seeks civil commitment of sexual predators who suffer from a mental abnormality making them more likely to commit additional predatory acts of sexual violence.
“One of the biggest priorities of my Office is to keep all six million Missourians safe, especially from predators who seek to harm our most vulnerable citizens,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Our Sexually Violent Predator Unit works tirelessly to ensure that those predators are kept away from potential victims. I’m proud of the work that the SVP Unit has done in these cases and the work they do every day to protect Missourians.”
Twenty of the thirty-seven commitments were obtained by jury trial. The predators included lifetime child molesters and rapists. None of these predators will be released into Missouri communities until that person’s mental abnormality no longer causes them to be likely to commit sexually violent offenses.
A few notable cases include:
In re Stanley Schell: Schell, a diagnosed pedophile, had a prolonged history of raping and molesting children. At trial in Crawford County, the Attorney General’s Office presented evidence that Shell raped or molested six boys and girls in the 1980’s and 90s’. Some of Schell’s victims were as young as 10 years old. While in prison, Schell was caught repeatedly attempting to contact minor children. A Crawford County jury found Schell was an SVP in July, 2019.
In re Billy Campbell: Campbell molested numerous boys and girls ages 9-12, including the rape of a 12-year-old girl, in Ray County. While in custody of the Missouri Dept. of Corrections (DOC), he received numerous violations for sexual misconduct and refused to attend sex offender treatment. After being released from DOC custody, Campbell exposed himself to several adults and children. After he was sent back to prison, the Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit to confine Campbell as a sexually violent predator. Campbell stipulated that he was an SVP in October, 2019.
In re Josh Graham: Graham was first identified as a sexual offender at age 10 and was sent to counseling. At age 17, he committed his first rape and was sentenced to 15 years in the DOC. After being released in 2017, and within 6 months of his release, Graham was arrested for masturbating in a parking lot, and the conditions of his parole were modified. Within one year of his release, Graham committed the rape of an 18-year-old girl. The Attorney General’s Office filed a petition to immediately detain Graham while the Greene County Prosecutor filed criminal charges. Graham stipulated that he was an SVP in January, 2020.
In re Thomas Dean: Dean was arrested in 1988 for molesting two female children and was investigated for molesting three more children. Dean was found guilty of molesting three children in 1998, with charges of Statutory Sodomy First Degree and Statutory Rape First Degree. He was sentenced to 18 years in the DOC. After his release in 2010, Dean’s parole was transferred to the State of Arizona. In 2014 Dean was arrested for watching child pornography in Arizona. The Attorney General’s Office then filed its petition to have Dean committed as a sexually violent predator. A Ray County jury committed Dean as an SVP in February, 2020.
In re Houston Young: Young admitted to molesting two prepubescent children while Young was a juvenile and was later convicted in Jackson County for molesting a four-year-old child in 2004 when Young was 17 years old. After he was released, Young was convicted of possessing child pornography and given another five years in prison. The Attorney General’s Office then filed its petition to commit Young as a sexually violent predator. While waiting for his SVP case to be tried, Young was investigated for being part of a child pornography ring while in a county jail. Young stipulated that he was an SVP in February, 2021.
In re Theodore Stiles: In 1986, Styles was convicted of indecent exposure, and an Oklahoma court sentenced him to a fine. In 1996, Style molested a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old girl and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In 2016, Styles broke into a home in Jasper County with a chloroform rag and attempted to abduct a child. Styles was caught fleeing the scene and was convicted of burglary. Before he was released from prison, the Attorney General’s Office filed a petition to have Styles committed a sexually violent predator. Styles was committed as an SVP in May, 2021.
In re Rayfield Johnson: Rayfield Johnson confessed to raping 25 women in St. Louis City in the late 1960’s and early 1970s. Many of the rapes involved Johnson breaking into the victims’ house or apartment. Johnson was sentenced to 25 years and was released. In the early 2000’s, Johnson forcibly sodomized his elderly neighbor and his elderly mother. The St. Louis Circuit Court found Johnson Not Guilty by Reason of Mental Disease or Defect. While Johnson was in the Department of Mental Health, the Attorney General’s Office filed its petition to have Johnson committed as a sexually violent predator. The trial court found Johnson was an SVP in January 2022.
In re Jason Cook: Jason Cook admitted to having inappropriate sexual contact and committing sex offenses in at least two states before he turned eighteen and moved to Missouri. Once in Missouri, Cook committed a sex offense against a seven-year-old girl and was sentenced to prison. While in prison, the Department of Corrections determined that Cook committed three sexual assaults against three different prisoners. Cook did not complete sex-offender treatment while in prison. A St. Francois County committed Cook as an SVP in August, 2022.