A Salem man will serve seven years in prison after pleading guilty to child molestation.
Scott Mayberry, 42, entered the plea Wednesday on a charge of fourth-degree child molestation.
Judge Scott Schrum sentenced him to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, the maximum punishment allowed by law, as recommended by Prosecutor Andrew M. Curley.
A press release from the Dent County Prosecutor’s Office states Mayberry was a prior and persistent felony offender with two prior felony convictions certifying him to the enhanced range of punishment of seven years.
Mayberry’s child molestation charge was filed after the victim, then an adult, disclosed the incidents to the Dent County Sheriff’s Office. As a result of the disclosure, an investigation was conducted by Deputy Michael Letchworth and Deputy Matt Atkinson. The charges were filed by prosecutor Curley on Dec. 8, 2019, after receiving a probable cause statement. That document details the victim told law enforcement several incidents of inappropriate touching had occurred involving Mayberry, one as recent as Dec. 4, 2019, and others dating back to December 2017 when the victim was 15 years old.
In a statement released from the prosecutor’s office, Curley indicated the victim and her family were pleased with the result and glad the criminal justice process was concluded.
“I want to thank the sheriff’s department, the victim advocates, the victim and her family,” Curley’s statement says. “The deputies involved in this case conducted an exceptional investigation that provided me with the tools needed to obtain a conviction. Due to the nature of the circumstances surrounding these types of cases (child abuse), these convictions are tough to obtain and feel extremely rewarding at the conclusion. I continue to believe the Missouri Legislature should revisit the punishments allowed by law for these types of offenses. It seems odd that felony possession of a controlled substance carries a harsher punishment than Child Molestation 4th Degree. Felony possession of a controlled substance also carries the same range of punishment for statutory sodomy and rape in the 2nd degree. Our children should never be the victims of this type of behavior. If you or someone you know is a victim of child abuse, please tell your parent, school counselor or a law enforcement officer. We are here to help.”