The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

June 17, 2013

New Mexico man draws prison term in Joplin child-rape case

A 59-year-old man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to sexual abuse of a developmentally disabled 8-year-old girl in Joplin.

Robert L. Newton pleaded guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court to first-degree statutory rape, first-degree statutory sodomy and felony failure to appear in court in a plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office.

The sex-offense convictions involve acts committed with the girl three years ago. Newton picked up the third felony count when he failed to show up for his trial on June 12 of last year.

The defendant’s plea deal limited the prison time that he might receive to 15 years on each of the statutory counts and to two years on the count for failure to appear. The agreement also called for the terms to run concurrently.

Circuit Judge David Dally accepted the plea bargain and assessed Newton the three concurrent terms.

Newton, who is from Las Cruces, N.M., was visiting Joplin when the sexual contact took place in 2010.

The abuse came to light in December of that year just before the girl’s mother planned to leave town on a trip out of state. According to the mother’s testimony at a preliminary hearing, the girl asked her if Newton would do what he did to her previously. The mother asked what she meant, and authorities were notified.

When Newton was interviewed by police, he reportedly acknowledged waking up one night and finding himself naked and on top of the girl. He claimed that he immediately got off her, put a towel across himself and apologized. During an interview at the Children’s Center in Joplin, however, the girl disclosed that he had raped her, according to a probable-cause affidavit.


Text Only
Local News
  • Ballot issues dominate GOP event

    A maze of campaign yard signs lined the sidewalk at Big Spring Park, leading up to a line of local candidates for public office with rolled-up sleeves shaking hands with potential voters.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound: It’s time for some football

    The arrests, the announced suspensions and the contract disputes can mean only one thing: Somebody is ready for some football.

    July 24, 2014

  • Joplin district pursues more money for construction projects

    The Joplin Board of Education is proceeding with the sale of $8 million in lease certificates of participation to fund construction projects at the district’s three major rebuild projects.

    July 25, 2014

  • Cherokee County audit shows $23,000 missing

    A special audit of the Cherokee County Treasurer’s Office for 2011 and 2012 shows more than $23,000 is missing from county bank accounts, Cherokee County Commissioner Richard Hilderbrand said Friday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hanaway says leadership missing under Gov. Nixon

    When Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Hanaway walked into the banquet room at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant this week, she was greeted by some of Joplin’s more prominent business leaders.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shrine Bowl band, cheerleaders, players arrive in Pittsburg this week

    Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

Must Read


A new provision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows qualifying districts with high percentages of students on food assistance to allow all students to eat free breakfasts and lunches. Would you agree with this provision?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter