by Sam Clanton
GALENA, Mo. – A Reeds Spring man receives four life sentences, plus a seven-year sentence and a four-year sentence, all to run consecutively, after being convicted of statutory sodomy, child molestation and sexual misconduct with a child.
Judge Jack Goodman sentenced 74-year-old Gary Pickron on Tuesday, after hearing testimony from victims in the case and arguments from the state and the defense.
In a news release, Stone County Prosecutor Matt Selby expresses his appreciation of Judge Goodman for handing down the maximum sentence for each charge, sending a strong message that this type of conduct will not be tolerated.
Selby says Pickron injured child after child for more than two decades, and some of the victims are still trying to cope with the consequences of his behavior.
The charges against Gary Pickron were filed in early 2015 after two girls, ages four and five, disclosed information to a relative that they had been sexually abused over a period of several weeks.
Selby says after the initial charges were filed, additional victims came forward also disclosing they had been sexually abused by Pickron, going back as far as 1995.
During trial in November, prosecutors presented evidence that Pickron made sexual contact with at least eight young children.
Below is the full release from Selby:
Gary Pickron, 74 of Reeds Spring, was convicted of multiple counts of child molestation and statutory sodomy by a Stone County jury on November 1, 2017. Formal sentencing was held Tuesday (Jan. 2, 2018) in Stone County Circuit Court. Circuit Judge Jack Goodman sentenced the defendant to multiple life sentences.
During a hearing that lasted nearly two hours, the court listened to testimony from victims and the defendant, considered evidence, and heard arguments from the attorneys. Prosecuting Attorney, Matt Selby, argued that the defendant has prior convictions and had previously been through intensive sex offender counseling, there were multiple victims in our case, the abuse has been going for over twenty years, and that the victims desired that the defendant never be released from prison. The prosecutor further stated that Pickron will always be a public safety risk and that the court needs to send a strong message that this type of conduct will not be tolerated.
In documents provided to the court the defendant continued to deny that he had done anything wrong, that the witnesses were not truthful, and that evidence had been manipulated.
One of the victims spoke directly to the defendant saying “I hope that maybe one day you will feel the pain in your soul that you created in ours. I hope one day you are going to realize how bad of a person you are. I hope one day that you will actually feel bad about the things you have done. As of today, I am free of you.”
At the conclusion of the hearing the Judge handed down the maximum sentence on each count – four life sentences, plus a seven year sentence and a four year sentence – all to be ran consecutive.
“Gary Pickron should never set foot outside a prison again and with this sentence he will spend the rest of his life there,” said Selby. “He has injured child after child over more than two decades and some of them are still trying to cope with the consequences of his behavior. I appreciate Judge Goodman listening to the evidence and doing what needed to be done to protect the public, punish the defendant, and see that justice was done in this case.”