The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

April 10, 2012

Webb City man accused of molesting four girls

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Police met a Webb City man Monday night at Joplin Regional Airport and arrested him on charges that he molested four girls under the age of 14.

James A. Terry, 63, was returning from California when the arrest was made by Webb City police.

Terry was charged with four counts of first-degree child molestation on April 3, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The suspect was in California at the time and did not return to town until Monday.

Detective Joe Beckett of the Webb City Police Department said the girls involved were between the ages of 4 and 10 when the alleged molestations took place.

Beckett said one of the girls recently disclosed the abuse to a parent, and police were contacted. He said another girl made a disclosure to a counselor.

A probable-cause affidavit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court alleges that Terry molested a 4-year-old girl in January 2008.

The same girl, who is now 8, also alleges that Terry touched her inappropriately through her clothing on other occasions. The other girls made similar allegations that they were touched by the suspect either through their clothing or directly.

Beckett wrote in his affidavit: “All four victims said it happened so many times they could not remember any exact dates and could only approximate by getting as close to a year as they could remember. This was backed up by speaking (to) the parents of the victims.”

    

Bond posted

James Terry posted a $10,000 bond a short time after his arrest and was released pending an initial court appearance.

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