Maya Zapata Gasa

A woman from Nixa accused of sexually abusing two foster children almost six years ago has been found guilty of statutory sodomy.

The jury trial for Maya Zapata Gasa, 34, was to have begun on Monday, however, she opted for a bench trial in front of Judge John Moody that lasted 2 1/2 days, according to Christian County Prosecutor Ron Cleek.

Christopher L. Gray

Cleek says evidence showed Gasa performed oral sex and touched the victim/s inappropriately.

Gasa, and her former live-in boyfriend, Christopher L. Gray, were both arrested in May of 2004 for illegal drug activity and charges that they sexually molested two girls, 11 and 6. In court documents Gasa told investigators that "he (Gray) became a foster parent so he could have the girls as sex slaves." After the couple's arrest, the children that Gray had adopted and was fostering, as well as Gasa's two son's, were placed in protective custody.

Gasa was found not guilty of sexual exploitation of a minor.



Christian County Prosecutor Ron Cleek


Gray was charged with six counts of statutory sodomy, two counts of statutory rape and one count of sexual exploitation.

Gray was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to 270 years in prison. However, eight of the nine convictions were overturned on appeal. He is serving 30 years (life) in prison for sexual exploitation of a minor. "I hope to get him retried as soon as possible," Cleek says.

Gasa, who remains free on bond while she awaits sentencing, is facing 10 to 30 (life is 30 years in MO) years in prison on the statutory sodomy conviction when she is sentenced on June 25th.


Cleek says, "She has never not appeared for a court hearing. If she fails to appear at sentencing she waives the right to appeal."

UPDATE:

Gasa was sentenced to 12 years in prison. She will have to serve at least 10.2 years in prison before she becomes eligible for parole.

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