The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 12, 2014

Baxter Springs City Council vacancy filled by appointment

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — The Baxter Springs City Council on Tuesday night accepted the resignation of a councilman who was charged with four counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, one count of aggravated criminal sodomy and one count of aggravated indecent solicitation.

The council also endorsed the appointment of Dean Auman to take Stanley Pickering’s place until the April election.

Pickering, 79, who also resigned from his job as a school crossing guard, 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 town police.

Mayor Randy Trease said Pickering came to his office the day of his arrest and told the mayor he was “having personal problems,” and gave his resignation.

Trease said he did not ask for details.

Pickering had worked for the past year and a half as a crossing guard at Lincoln Elementary School, and he resigned that job on the day of his arrest, said Superintendent Dennis Burke.

The criminal charges involve alleged acts with three children, according to documents filed by the Kansas attorney general’s office. The school district has issued a statement saying that none of the charges involved anything that took place during school hours or on school property.

The 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 cites alleged acts with a child born in 1997 between June 2010 and August 2012.

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

Hearing continued

STANLEY PICKERING’S preliminary hearing scheduled for today was continued, and no new date has been set. A bond hearing is scheduled for Feb. 20.

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