Statutory sodomy added to charges against Scott City man

Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Travis Eaker

BENTON, Mo. -- Travis W. Eaker was already facing a first-degree assault charge in Scott County. Now he's facing 15 counts of statutory sodomy for allegedly molesting a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl.

The newest charges against Eaker, 28, of 2800 Woodlawn, No. 57, Scott City, were added Tuesday by the Scott County prosecuting attorney's office. Eaker had been in jail since April 2, when he was arrested for allegedly beating the 7-year-old so severely the boy had to be hospitalized for a lacerated pancreas, a severely bruised and swollen head and severe bruises on his neck.

The beating occurred in May 2006, but the initial charges were dropped because the boy was hospitalized for seven months and unable to testify against Eaker, Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter said. A grand jury handed down an indictment against Eaker in November, and he was arrested in Poplar Bluff, Mo., in April.

Walter said the first-degree assault charge is the equivalent of attempted murder in Missouri.

The newest charges came after an examination of the children, who are now 8 and 6 years old, revealed evidence of sexual abuse, Walter said.

Eaker's bond for the assault charge is set at $150,000, with a $150,000 cash-only bond for the 15 statutory sodomy counts. The assault charge carries a maximum life sentence, while each count of sodomy carries a maximum of life in prison and a minimum of 10 years.

The child and his sister are now in foster care, Walter said.

"When he was served with the warrants, he said, 'I'm ready to go to court and fight this,'" Walter said. "Our response is, 'We can't wait to get you in court.'

"I'm going to do whatever I can to keep this guy in the penitentiary and never get out again."

Eaker was a recent transplant to Scott County. Walter said the investigation into the sexual assault has indicated Eaker may have engaged in the same behavior in places where he lived previously.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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