The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

June 4, 2010

Joplin child molester assessed 12 years in Missouri prison

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Jasper County judge sentenced a Joplin man to 12 years in prison Friday for sexually molesting three young girls.

Jacob R. Pena, 59, had pleaded guilty March 26 in Jasper County Circuit Court to three counts of first-degree child molestation. Judge David Mouton assessed three 12-year terms in prison, with the sentences to run concurrently.

Pena was arrested on the charges in September 2008 after an investigation by the Joplin Police Department. A probable-cause affidavit filed by Detective Justin Barnett states that three girls under the age of 14 alleged in separate interviews by investigators that Pena touched their genitals on numerous occasions over the course of the previous year.

The girls were never required to testify against the defendant in court since Pena waived a preliminary hearing in March 2009 and took the plea bargain this year rather than go to trial.

First-degree child molestation is a Class B felony in Missouri carrying a punishment range of five to 15 years in prison. Pena’s plea bargain with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office limited the sentences he might be assessed to no more than 12 years.

The defendant told the judge at the sentencing hearing that he has sought and been granted the forgiveness of God, family and others, and hoped someday to be forgiven by one of the victims as well.

Public defender Maleia Cheney asked the judge to consider limiting her client’s sentences to no more than seven years each since he has never denied the allegations, has taken responsibility for his actions and has been undergoing counseling.

But the judge refused to do so, sticking instead to the maximum amount of time allowed under the plea agreement.

Prison bound

Jacob Pena, who has been free on bond while awaiting the outcome of his child molestation case, was taken into custody by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department at the close of his sentencing hearing Friday, pending his transfer to the Missouri Department of Corrections.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Pension funding improving, actuary reports

    An extra $1 million contribution by the city of Joplin last year to the Police and Firemen’s Pension Fund boosted the funding ratio of the plan by 2 percent, the plan’s actuary told the board Thursday morning.

    April 17, 2014

  • Special counsel to be appointed in ethics complaint against Neosho council members

    The Neosho Ethics Board on Wednesday voted to ask the City Council to appoint a special counsel to provide legal advice to the board’s remaining two members as they investigate a complaint against two members of the council.

    April 17, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Will new Earth-like planet have better cable offerings?

    When I read that astronomers have discovered the most Earth-like planet yet, I had a couple of deep scientific questions. First: What’s the Wi-Fi like? And: Are their TV channels better than ours? Hey, I didn’t get an “Incomplete” in college astronomy for nothing.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Christian ministry plans Missouri camp expansion

    A nondenominational Christian ministry is planning a $21.5 million expansion on land it owns near Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri, with a goal of offering gatherings beyond the traditional summer camps.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 041714 Treble Makers.jpg Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium

    Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Public hearing set on posed TIF district

    Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.

    April 17, 2014

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

     moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.

    April 17, 2014

  • Chairman of Neosho Ethics Board resigns

    The chairman of the Neosho Ethics Board unexpectedly resigned on Thursday as the board investigates a complaint against Neosho City Council members David Ruth and Steve Hart.

    April 17, 2014

  • CWEP receives top honor from national power group

    The Carthage Water and Electric Plant has received the top award for reliable electrical service from the American Public Power Association.

    April 17, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Would you use a community safe room when the area is under a tornado warning?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter