The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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January 30, 2014

Crossing guard faces charges of molestation

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — A Baxter Springs school crossing guard was arrested Thursday at his home by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation on charges of indecent liberties with a child, criminal sodomy and criminal threat.

Stanley W. Pickering, 79, who apparently has served multiple times as an appointed member of the Baxter Springs City Council, was being held Thursday at the county jail in Columbus, according to a news release from town police.

Pickering was arrested after information given by an alleged victim was obtained by the Kansas Department for Children and Families and the Baxter Springs Police Department, and then forwarded to the KBI, according to the release.

Dennis Burke, superintendent of schools, said Pickering had worked for the past year and a half as a crossing guard at Lincoln Elementary School, but that he resigned that job on Thursday.

A notice was sent to parents, informing them of the arrest. The notice stated that law enforcement officials told school administrators that none of the charges stemmed from anything that took place during the school day or on school property.

City Councilman Ed McAfee confirmed that Pickering is currently a councilman after having been appointed to fill a vacancy on that panel. McAfee said he could not recall just when Pickering was appointed to his current post.

Pickering apparently has been appointed to fill other vacancies on the council in the past, but the Globe’s efforts to obtain details of those appointments were unsuccessful Thursday.

Baxter Springs police said all inquiries about the case were to be directed to the KBI. KBI officials said the case is now being handled by the Kansas attorney general’s office.

A spokesman for the attorney general said no further information would be released as of Thursday night. A message left with the Cherokee County prosecuting attorney was not immediately returned.

School district officials said counselors will be available at all of the school buildings.

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