November 11, 2008

Registered sex offender Earl Withrow accused of abusing girl

November 11, 2008

Columbia (MO) Tribune

Earl F. Withrow, 53, of 504 N. Garth Ave. was arrested yesterday on suspicion of first-degree statutory sodomy and sexual exploitation of a child. He remained in custody today at the Boone County Jail with bond not yet set.

Columbia police Sgt. Ken Hammond said police began their investigation in July after being notified of a hot line call to the Division of Family Services. Withrow was interviewed yesterday and made incriminating statements about the abuse, Hammond said. The first instance of alleged abuse occurred at a Columbia residence of a relative of the girl, Hammond said. The suspect and victim are not related but acquaintances through family members, Hammond said.

Hammond did not provide a timeframe for the alleged abuse, but he said it is believed to have occurred for months. According to state law, a person commits first-degree statutory sodomy if he is 21 or older and has "deviate sexual intercourse" with someone younger than 14.

Withrow pleaded guilty in St. Francois County in 1996 to first-degree statutory sodomy and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to court records. He is listed on the Boone County sheriff’s and Missouri State Highway Patrol online registry of sex offenders.

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