Sherrod guilty verdict upheld by appeals court
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — A conviction of a Sikeston man who was previously found guilty of sodomy charges was upheld on Tuesday.
The Eastern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of Ron Sherrod, 67, of Sikeston, who was found guilty by a Cape Girardeau County jury on July 12, 2018, of two counts of statutory sodomy. Sherrod was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Sherrod committed the criminal acts between June 2010 and May 2011.
The case began on May 18, 2011, when the mother of two of the child victims reported the abuse to the Sikeston Department of Public Safety. The disclosure of the sexual abuse followed one of the child victims attending the Green Bear program taught by the Network Against Sexual Violence (NASV). After attending the program, she told her mother about Sherrod touching her. A forensic interview of the two children was conducted at on May 20.
The child victim relayed to the forensic interviewer specific details only she would know about the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of Sherrod. She referred to the acts as “gross.” She told the forensic interviewer that Sherrod told her “he would like to do more, but she was too little.”
After the investigation was initiated on May 18, 2011, additional victims of Sherrod came forward to tell what had happened to them in the past. One female victim came forward on May 20, 2011, to tell what happened to her between 2006 and 2009 in Sikeston. Two victims (one male and one female) came forward on May 28, 2011, to discuss what happened to them in the late 1990s to early 2000s. A sixth victim came forward in 2015 to relate what had happened to him in the late 1990s to early 2000s.
A 2016 trial ended in a mistrial as the jury would not unanimously agree on a verdict being stuck at 9-3 vote for guilty.
At the sentencing hearing on Aug. 17, 2018, the court heard victim impact statements from the child victim, two other victims of Sherrod, mothers of two of the victims and the father of the child victim. The victims related how the sexual abuse negatively affected their lives. The victims said the abuse made them fearful, suffer nightmares, caused trust and relationship issues with others, especially men, and caused them to suffer loss of family because the relatives would not believe the children. The parents related how they suffered watching their children struggle as they navigated the criminal justice system suffering multiple interviews and depositions with strangers about sexual activity with an adult.
Former Scott County Prosecutor Paul Boyd argued Sherrod be sentenced to the maximum sentence for the two charges (30 years) noting Sherrod still failed to take responsibility for his actions and all his victims will be suffering a life sentence themselves having to suffer painful memories triggered by the simplest of events the rest of society likely takes for granted like the smell of smoke in a house, simplest touches of loved ones and raising their children.
Judge Ben Lewis then ordered that Sherrod be sentenced to 20 years on each count to run consecutive to each other for a total of 40 years.