The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

August 22, 2012

Man facing charge of statutory rape

NEOSHO, Mo. — A judge has ordered a 27-year-old Neosho man bound over for trial on a charge that he had sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old girl.

Associate Judge Gregory Stremel found probable cause for Bobby H. Phelan to stand trial on a charge of second-degree statutory rape after a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Newton County Circuit Court.

A 17-year-old girl testified at the hearing that the defendant and others “pressured” her into having sex with Phelan in March when she was 16.

The girl said it happened the first time when she and a girlfriend, her girlfriend’s boyfriend and Phelan were hanging out and drinking alcohol at a residence near Joplin. She said the intercourse was repeated several times over a four-week period despite her reluctance.

A probable-cause affidavit states that she told an investigator that Phelan would hit her and threaten her whenever she told him she did not wish to have sex with him.

Phelan already was facing a charge in Newton County Circuit Court of forcible rape involving another 16-year-old girl.

That charge was filed in July of last year and is pending. Newton County court records also show a previous conviction for statutory rape involving a third girl.

The judge set Sept. 10 for Phelan’s initial appearance in a trial division on the most recent charge.

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