The former head of the Christian County Republican Party was sentenced to five years in prison today for child molestation.

Royce M. Fessenden pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree child molestation and one count of second degree statutory sodomy in October of last year.

Special Prosecutor Robert Lewis says that Fessenden molested a relative once a week from the mid 1990's until 2001. The little girl was nine when the abuse started and seventeen when it ended.

The abuse, which wasn't reported to police until 2006, created quite the quagmire for Christian County Prosecutor Ron Cleek and Judge Mark Orr who both recused themselves from the case as Fessenden had actively campaigned for both elected officials.

Fessenden was sentenced to five years in prison on each of the three charges. Those sentences will run concurrent (at the same time) with each other.

Judge John Moody handled the case after Orr's recusal.

https://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet/cases/searchCases.do
07N8-CR00664-01 - ST VS ROYCE M FESSENDEN

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