Homeless man charged with molesting child in Stoddard County home where he was staying

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 ~ Updated 5:05 PM

DEXTER, Mo. -- A 64-year-old man who was taken in by a Dexter family after he told the family he was homeless was in the Stoddard County Jail Tuesday morning under a cash-only bond of $25,000, charged with felony statutory sodomy in the first degree, the Daily Statesman newspaper reported.

According to Det. Cory Mills of the Dexter Police Department, Nathen Purdom was a family friend of the Dexter couple who took him in when he told the couple on June 1 that he had no place to stay. Purdom had a residence in Dexter as recent as 2006. He currently has no confirmed address, Mills said.

Purdom was arrested on a city street shortly after the couple reported to police last Friday that their 7-year-old daughter told them Purdom had performed sexual acts on her.

The couple, Mills says, immediately ousted Purdom from their home and called authorities. Purdom was picked up Friday close to the home of the alleged victim.

The child disclosed to her parents that on more than two occasions Purdom had allegedly engaged in sexual activity with her. In Purdom's arrest warrant request, the activity is termed as "deviate sexual intercourse" with the 7-year-old.

The child, Mills's report states, told her parents the acts took place in the bedroom the family was allowing Purdom to occupy.

In a Friday interview with Mills, Purdom admitted to the allegations.

"Purdom admitted on more than four occasions between June 1, 2010 and July 16, 2010, he (performed sexual acts upon the juvenile in the home)," the report stated.

In an interview Monday, Mills told The Daily Statesman that during Friday's interview, Purdom also confessed to the molestation of three other victims outside the local family who took him in as a homeless friend.

"One of those cases is believed to have occurred about four years ago," Mills confirmed.

The other two cases, he said, are juveniles not residing in the same home as the above mentioned victim. Additional charges are pending upon further investigation, Mills stated.

In the case of the Dexter child, Purdom is charged with the felony of statutory sodomy in the first degree, for which the punishment upon conviction is possible life imprisonment or a term of years not less than five.

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