By Jeff Lehr
A rural Joplin woman pleaded guilty Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court to sexually abusing an underage girl and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Kimberly D. Crandall, 32, 422 E. Fountain Road, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of deviate sexual intercourse in a plea agreement with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office. The agreement called for Crandall to be assessed a seven-year prison term, the maximum sentence for the amended charge under state law, and for the defendant to waive her right to a sentencing-assessment report.
Circuit Judge David Dally accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Crandall to the agreed prison term. The defendant had been charged with first-degree child molestation, a Class B felony that carries from five to 15 years in prison in Missouri.
Crandall was arrested and charged in August of last year after an incident in Joplin during which she complained to police that her husband, Robert J. Crandall, left a note on her vehicle in violation of a court order.
In the course of talking to officers, she reportedly acknowledged sexual misconduct on the part of both her and her husband with respect to an underage girl over the previous two years. She told police that they had engaged in sexual contact with the girl, who was 11 and 12 years of age at the time.
After an investigation, her husband was charged with first-degree statutory sodomy, and she was charged with first-degree child molestation.
Robert Crandall pleaded guilty in March in a plea agreement that limits the prison time he might be required to serve to no more than 10 years. He could have faced from 10 to 30 years, or up to life, in prison for the conviction. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 11.