The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

February 6, 2014

Former crossing guard charged

Baxter Springs councilman facing multiple counts in child-sex abuse cases

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — An appointed Baxter Springs city councilman and former school crossing guard was charged Wednesday with four counts of aggravated indecent liberties, one count of aggravated criminal sodomy and one count of aggravated indecent solicitation, according to charging documents filed by the Kansas attorney general’s office.

Stanley Pickering, 79, was arrested Jan. 30 at his home after information given by an alleged victim to the Kansas Department for Children and Families and the Baxter Springs Police Department was forwarded to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, according to a news release from town police.

Robert Myers, attorney for the city of Baxter Springs, said Pickering submitted his resignation from the City Council on the day he was arrested. Council members will vote on whether to accept his resignation during a meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The criminal charges involve alleged acts with three children.

Documents filed in Cherokee County District Court charge Pickering with sodomizing a child born in 1996 between July 2003 and December 2005, and with two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with the child between December 2003 and December 2005 by lewd fondling or touching.

A third count of aggravated indecent liberties involves alleged acts with a child born in 1997 between June 2010 and August 2012.

In a fourth count, he is accused of aggravated indecent liberties with a child born in 2002 between May 2010 and May 2011. Pickering also is charged with aggravated indecent solicitation of the child; the documents allege that between September 2010 and November 2010, he attempted to persuade the child to commit or to submit to an unlawful sexual act.

Dennis Burke, superintendent of public schools in Baxter Springs, said last week that Pickering had worked for the past year and a half as a crossing guard at Lincoln Elementary School, but that he resigned that job on the day of his arrest.

Pickering also was serving as president of the Cherokee County Ambulance Board. Another board member last week said Pickering had been removed from the panel.

Bond amount

STANLEY PICKERING is being held at the Cherokee County Jail in Columbus in lieu of $300,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 13.

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