Dexter man pleads guilty to charges of child molestation

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- A Dexter man charged with molesting a child has pleaded guilty to child molestation in Stoddard County court.

According to Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Briney Welborn, 59-year-old Doyle W. Pettigrew plead guilty during his arraignment before Presiding Circuit Judge Stephen R. Sharp on Thursday.

Sharp ordered that a pre-sentence investigation be conducted by the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole and set Pettigrew's sentencing date for Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Charges against Pettigrew stem from an investigation conducted by Stoddard County Sheriff's Department Detective Hank Trout after he was notified by a Stoddard County juvenile officer that a report of abuse had been filed by the Missouri Children's Division.

The victim, who was younger than 14 years old, reported that Pettigrew had been both molesting and having sexual intercourse with the victim from the ages of 7 to 11 years old.

A SAFE exam was performed on the victim in late November in Cape Girardeau. During the interview, the victim stated that during the summer of 2007, the victim was cleaning out a bedroom for another relative to move into when Pettigrew told the victim he wanted to show the victim something.

When Pettigrew and the victim were in the room together, according to the report, Pettigrew began "feeling" on the victim in inappropriate places.

"I went to Malden and picked up [Pettigrew] ... I transported [Pettigrew] to the Stoddard County Sheriff's Department," Trout said in his report. "Upon arriving at the sheriff's department, I introduced [a juvenile officer] and informed [Pettigrew] we needed to talk to him about a child abuse and neglect hot line report received by the Missouri Children's Division."

Trout then asked Pettigrew if he knew anything about the hot line call, to which Pettigrew allegedly responded that he did not know anything other than what the mother of the victim had told him. Following being read his Miranda rights, Trout said Pettigrew then allegedly admitted having touched the victim in a sexual way.

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