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Child Abuse Investigation


Sheriff Scott Lindsey

Texas County Sheriff’s Dept.

  On October 1, 2019 the Texas County Sheriff’s Office received a report of possible child abuse from the Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division at a residence in Licking. An investigation into the allegations was initiated by Texas County deputies and an investigator from Children’s Division. A 16-year-old female reported being struck repeatedly with a belt causing marks and severe bruising.  The suspect John Peterson was interviewed and admitted to striking the female with a belt and using excessive force for reasonable spanking. 
  John C. Peterson, age 44, of Licking was arrested and transported to the Texas County Jail. Peterson was charged with Abuse or Neglect of a Child and Endangering the welfare of a Child 1st degree by Assistant Texas County Prosecuting Attorney Jason Macpherson. Peterson is being held pending $150,000 bond.     
  Sheriff Scott Lindsey comments, “Missouri statutes allow for discipline of a child including spanking, in a reasonable manner. The investigators in this case and the prosecuting attorney have all concluded that based on the evidence and statements that this was not reasonable discipline and instead was a criminal offense.”         
  The above charges are mere accusations and are not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of the charges must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


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