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Five Southeast Missouri men charged in sex crime investigation

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Travis Guzman
editor's note: This story was edited to remove one of the suspects who was exonerated of the crime.

By Matt Sanders

Southeast Missourian

Tyler Emerson
BENTON, Mo. -- Five men, four from Scott County and one from Stoddard County, have been charged with a variety of sex crimes following a Scott County Sheriff's Department investigation, Sheriff Rick Walter said in a news release Friday.

The charges stem from allegations of sexual contact with a girl over the past two years, starting when she was 13 years old.

Michael E. Doles, 18, of Oran, Mo., was charged with four counts of second-degree child molestation. His bond was set at $15,000.

Travis L. Guzman, 22, of Oran was charged with nine counts of second-degree statutory rape, one count of second-degree statutory sodomy and 10 counts of second-degree child molestation. His bond was set at $75,000.

Tyler Emerson, 21, of Morley, Mo., was charged with second-degree statutory rape and five counts of second-degree child molestation. His bond was set at $75,000.

Michael R. Meador, 20, of Bell City, Mo., was charged with three counts of second-degree child molestation. His bond was set at $25,000.



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The cons in the pen are gonna have fun w/ these guys.

-- Posted by heye1967 on Fri, May 15, 2009, at 6:00 PM

Oh my G-d- I will find the other ones and donate any reward to the child for a trust fund. I can do it, been there; done that. I hope that anyone who knows where they are will tell the authorities

-- Posted by drijames on Fri, May 15, 2009, at 10:37 PM

If you must know I do believe the others have turned themselves in.

-- Posted by lingo on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 1:15 AM

You people have already judge these boys and where only told part of the story(cause **** it makes better news to leave out the trueth)This girl lied to all 8 of the boys she has accused told them she was 17(now i really don't think all of them would come up with same story)Her parents met one of the boys in question and let their daughter leave with him.So before you hang them out to dry find some things like her parents just got custody of this girl back and she is also a known runaway like many many times.And o by the way she ran away right after these charges were filed.So please know your facts before you attack

-- Posted by tamtam45 on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 9:24 AM

Before anyone jumps to conclusions, and because all the information has not been reported in this news article, keep in mind that there are actually eight men (all of whom the young girl lied to about her age). Also an investigation of the young girl and her family/home life has been left out of the report. Please note that ALL involved are being investigated.

-- Posted by cmeador on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 9:39 AM

It really makes no difference what the girl told these boys or what her parents did as the law does not make such distinctions. This does not change their guilt if in fact they had sexual contact. It might mitigate the sentences received, but has no impact on whether or not having sex with a girl that age is or is not illegal. It is going to be a hard sell to convince anyone that these boys cannot tell the physical difference between a thirteen and seventeen year old.

-- Posted by RA on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 9:50 AM

Well these boy's life has been ruined because of this girl. I what she looks like and she looks older then she is. I know for a fact three of these boy's wouldn't even been hanging out with her if they knew her real age. This girl should be in trouble for lying about everything to the cops. But NO she isn't. This is all a scam. We all know it that know's these boy's and these cops know it too. I hope to god that the three I know get off of these charges.

-- Posted by valeriephillips on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 10:48 AM

TripleS...Trust me...there are plenty of 13 year olds that could pass for 17. I'm a teacher, and I see them every day. I feel bad for boys that end up in that situation - being told the girl is older - because you're right, the law makes no distinction. This is just another example of why abstinence is a good thing!

-- Posted by chocolatte on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 11:03 AM

Heard a few more stories like this over the years. Young girls catching up numerous guys and either the parents or the law press charges. Face it, some of these young girls in society are nymphos. It's true these days, I'm not that old and girls I grew up with look nothing like the girls do now. You really have to check for Id's in some cases if you are not sure.

-- Posted by B1975 on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 11:20 AM


Without putting too fine of a point on it, you are not seeing the same thing these boys are. While someone might initially be fooled by how someone dresses, makeup and so on, there comes a point when the age difference will become apparent. I worked with sex offenders of all types for over thirty years and I have heard all of this before all too often.

I do agree that abstinence for young people is preferred, but unfortunately it is all too often not the reality and I am certainly in no position to be throwing stones.

-- Posted by RA on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 11:56 AM

I'm a genealogist. Sex at this age was the norm back in the "old" days. Girls married, had babies at 14 and 15 and started their families. Society changed over the years and we now portray it different.

Hormones kick in, attraction and innocent teasing leads to sex. She probably got busted and had to fess up.

My 16 year old step-daughter can't pass for 16, but her mother allows her to wear provacative clothing. Not good. A disaster waiting to happen in today's society.

I'm sure I'll get bashed for this, but SOME girls are going to have sex at an early age whether mom and dad are there or not. These guys WERE probably lied to, or teased enough that common sense lost them.

-- Posted by leighann457 on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 12:11 PM


Yes, my grandmother married when she was fifteen as did my wife's, but times have changed and this is no longer the "norm", so we must conduct ourselves by the mores as they exist now rather than in the "old" days.

Yes, girls may do this and if someone loses their "common sense" then they should be prepared for the consequences.

-- Posted by RA on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 12:25 PM

Have fun in prison you sick freaks.

-- Posted by Mosely on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 1:07 PM

hey mosley i am the uncle of one of those boys and you better watch what you say.because if you want i will give you my real name and address and we can talk about it man to victim.

-- Posted by bigeasy on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 5:12 PM

Mosley is you knew what really happened you would not judge these guys.It takes a real dumb person to assume he knows what he is talking about when he doesn't, you read part of a story( cause that was all they printed) and you already convict them. Be careful you might be number 11,now would that not be harsh and to think you never met her but it doesn't matter cause it is she said he said and 98% of the time the believe the girl, Even though there is no real evidence just her WORD

-- Posted by tamtam45 on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 7:31 PM

i feel sorry for these guys if are innocent.if they did it they should be dealt with but i had a brother and a couple of his friends in a similiar situation about 20 years ago. and the problem was she did get caught.she had also had sex with every teenager in the southeast mo town.she was 15 and very very well developed as a young girl.you would of never known she was just 15.and this girl also told these boys she was 18.i have a couple nieces now that you wouldnt ever know they were 16.very mature for there age.so just depends on the girl i guess and how she portrays herself.sorry if i offended anyone but usually unless the truth comes out it goes in the girls favor.

-- Posted by blondie196632 on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 8:15 PM

TripleS, I agree that abstinence is often not realistic. I'm just saying that it's a good thing to explain to young people, and this is one of the reasons why. One can never be too careful, or too sure that the other person is being honest - about any number of things. Besides age, one might lie about diseases, birth control, etc.

However, I have to disagree that there would necessarily "come a point" where her age would be found out. Physically, there ARE 13 year olds who could pass for 17 - not just makeup and clothes. Also, there are some 17 year olds who are not well developed physically, and appear much younger.

So without judging either way, I'm just saying that I feel bad for guys that take a girl's word to find out later she's underage. At the same time, I'm sure lots of guys are more than happy to take a girl's word at face value, even if he suspects differently, assuming he is safe since she TOLD him she was old enough.

Anyway, it's a sad story all the way around. Lots of girls today don't have good examples to follow at home, and especially not on tv or in music or magazines. They don't value themselves enough to save themselves for someone special. And too many guys are all too willing take advantage of any opportunity they get, without considering what the consequences may be.

I'll shut up now, and get off my soapbox!

-- Posted by chocolatte on Sat, May 16, 2009, at 9:49 PM

I know that Copeland is innocent he is married to her sister.the girl been with over 200 hundred men over the past two years,If you know this girl like I do you will know that she's lying on these guys.Copeland has been good to this girl and she did this to him he thought of her has a daughter she's mad at him for breaking up her party on December 28,2008 that sent his wife her sister to jail because she said her sister beat her.She has told the cops before nothing happen now she saying it happen she has problems she needs help.The Cops has prove no rape has ever happen.

-- Posted by accola2121 on Mon, May 18, 2009, at 11:11 AM

RUNAWAY Mosely, cuz bigeasy is gonna get ya...good stuff

-- Posted by Conservative_Sam on Tue, May 19, 2009, at 1:41 PM

What ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty" This paper needs to print an apology when these men are all aquitted! The news media in all its lust to get ratings has scarred their reputations for life!!!

-- Posted by Heavy_Hitter on Tue, May 19, 2009, at 2:07 PM

some of u want to judge these boys before u hear the truth.runaway mosley and conservative sam ur the sick freaks.

-- Posted by accola2121 on Tue, May 19, 2009, at 2:49 PM

accola2121, exactly how am I a sick freak since the only thing I commented on was bigeasy threatening someone. I don't believe I judged anybody or made any comments about whether or not the suspects were guilty or innocent...so shut your hole! My guess is you are a family member who plans to defend their relative to the end, regardless of whether or not they are guilty or innocent. Some of the suspects are known to law enforcement (i.e. prior criminal records, supervised by Probation and Parole) so don't come on here acting like they are all outstanding citizens who could never do anything improper. Maybe they are innocent, but like I said, my initial post said nothing about them being guilty.

-- Posted by Conservative_Sam on Tue, May 19, 2009, at 5:38 PM

conservative sam I'm truly sorry I didn't understand your post until I read it again.I'm really stress out.So please accept my sorry.

-- Posted by accola2121 on Tue, May 19, 2009, at 6:36 PM

accola2121, Sorry accepted :0)

-- Posted by Conservative_Sam on Wed, May 20, 2009, at 6:23 PM

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