AG Hawley Announces Lafayette County Child Sex Abuse Conviction

Feb 14, 2018, 11:53 AM
Feb 14, 2018, 11:51 AM

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced that a Lafayette County jury took just 80 minutes to find Arthur W. Sanders, 80, guilty of 11 counts of child molestation and sodomy for sexually abusing two female relatives. The abuse began when each girl was around 12 years old.

A resident of Odessa, Missouri, Sanders used his position as their after-school caretaker to molest and sodomize the girls, including putting money into one child's underwear and bra and having the children touch him. At trial, a previous victim from the early 1980s testified that she too was abused around the same age but was encouraged by family to stay quiet. Sanders was detected when the oldest girl, after five years of abuse, disclosed it to a school counselor. 

“Abuse of this nature has no place in Missouri,” Hawley said. “My Office will continue to protect these vulnerable citizens—and fight to put perpetrators behind bars.”

Sanders faces a possible life sentence in the Department of Corrections and is not eligible for bail or bond. He will be sentenced on April 2, 2018, by the Honorable Dennis Rolf. The case was tried by Monty Platz of the Missouri Attorney General's Office at the request of the Lafayette County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, which originally filed the charges.