Many times, people in Missouri who are charged with sex offenses are presumed to be guilty, whether or not they are ultimately convicted of any charges. Six Missouri men had been facing this stigma since 2009, when they were all charged with various sex crimes, including rape, regarding members of their family. However, the men recently received good news when a prosecutor announced that she would be dropping all charges against them.
The men were all related to one another: four brothers, their father and their uncle. Younger family members went to authorities in 2009 claiming that they had been abused in the 1980s and 1990s by the men, and told investigators where to find written accounts of the alleged crimes at the family farm. However, no such accounts were found, and prosecutors said that it would be difficult to prosecute the cases based on the long period of time that had elapsed since the alleged abuse took place.
One of the men, the father of the brothers who were charged, had been facing charges including forcible rape of a child younger than 12, use of a child in a sexual performance, and felony rape. One of the brothers had also been charged with use of a child in a sexual performance and forcible rape of a child under 14.
While the men have been cleared of criminal wrongdoing, their case has been covered extensively in the local and national media. Regardless of their legal standing, they will still have to fight negative perceptions that may have developed from their unwelcome time in the spotlight.
Source: ABC News, "Missouri Sex Abuse Charges Dropped Against Six Relatives," Colleen Curry, Mar. 8, 2012