A 24-year-old Wright City man who had consensual sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl and then told the victim to lie to police about their relationship has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, according to Warren County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Wright.
At the time of the incident, Kyle Short Jr. was on probation for statutory rape and possession of a controlled substance.
Short was convicted Nov. 8 of three counts of second-degree statutory rape and one count of attempted victim tampering. During a Jan. 8 sentencing hearing, Wright called Short a "predator" who "cannot curtail his activities."
"The most disturbing factor about this case is that he has gone to prison once and was just released from prison for the very same thing and he goes right back to the same acts," Wright said.
Wright asked Circuit Judge Keith Sutherland to sentence Short to 10 to 15 years in prison on each charge.
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"This is a man who should not be back in society," Wright said. "How many victims do we have to have before we get him off the streets?"
Short's attorney, Jeffrey Robertson of Warrenton, argued a double-digit sentence for his client would not be appropriate because all of the charges involve the same victim and there was no coercion involved. Robertson said Short should receive no more than a seven-year sentence.
Based on his prior convictions, Wright charged Short as a persistent felony offender. That increased the maximum sentence for each statutory rape charge and the attempted victim tampering charge from seven years in prison to 15 years.
Sutherland called Short's criminal past an aggravating factor and sentenced him to 10 years in prison on each of the four charges. The three sentences for statutory rape will run concurrently, but consecutively with the victim tampering charge for a total of 20 years.
Short first was convicted of statutory rape in December 2005, when he pleaded guilty to having sexual relations with a 14-year-old female and possession of methamphetamine. Short was sentenced to five years in prison and was granted an early release in May 2006.
Less than four months later, Short became sexually involved with a 15-year-old girl he had met before he went to prison. In December 2006, the girl's parents contacted the Warren County Sheriff's Department, complaining that Short was making harassing phone calls to their home. The parents told police they suspected Short was having an inappropriate relationship with their daughter.
When Short learned police were investigating his relationship with the 15-year-old, Short asked a third party to contact the victim and instruct her not to tell police about their relationship.
for felony charges
Four people received prison sentences after each pleaded guilty to unrelated felony charges during the January Law Day of the Warren County Circuit Court.
Sentenced were Keith Garver of Hermann, Kelly Shelton and Eric Collins, both of Warrenton, and Andre Wright of St. Louis, according to Prosecutor Michael Wright.
> Garver, 60, was sentenced to five years in prison for statutory sodomy in the second degree as part of an agreement worked out in exchange for his pea of guilty, Wright said. The victim and family consent to the plea agreement, Wright said. Garver's five-year sentence was two years less than the seven-year maximum allowed by Missouri law.
Garver admitted he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy in the summer of 2005. The assault occurred at Garver's home on Highway 94.
> Shelton, 23, pleaded guilty to selling methamphetamine May 9, 2007, to an undercover officer with the East Central Drug Task Force. Shelton sold 0.39 grams of methamphetamine to the officer for $100. The transaction took place at a Warrenton motel.
Shelton also pleaded guilty to methamphetamine possession March 3, 2006. The drug was found when police served a search warrant at a residence on Hawk's Nest Lane.
Shelton received an eight-year prison sentence for selling drugs and a concurrent, seven-year sentence for drug possession. Circuit Judge Keith Sutherland ordered Shelton to receive treatment for drug abuse while in prison. Upon completion of the four-month program, Sutherland will determine if Shelton should be released from prison early and placed on probation for five years.
> Collins, 25, pleaded guilty to tampering with a 1979 Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The motorcycle was stolen Nov. 12, 2006, from a home in the Tranquil Oaks subdivision.
Police recovered the motorcycle later that day at a nearby residence, and Collins admitted he had operated the bike.
Collins has prior convictions for drug possession and unlawful use of a weapon and was charged by Wright as a persistent felony offender. He received a three-year sentence for the tampering charge.
> Andre Wright, 28, was sentenced to two years in prison for driving with a revoked license. Wright has six prior convictions for driving while revoked and eight convictions for driving without a valid license.
His most recent arrest occurred March 24, 2007, when a state trooper stopped the Mercury Marquis he was driving on Interstate 70 for speeding. When police ran a computer check, they discovered his Missouri driver's license was revoked.