The Cape Girardeau man accused of molesting a teenager for three years withdrew his not-guilty plea and pleaded guilty to second-degree statutory sodomy Monday.
Kenneth G. Higgins, 47, was charged with sporadically molesting a girl from the time she was 12 until she turned 15. He faced first-degree child molestation and second-degree statutory sodomy charges before he withdrew his not-guilty plea and pleaded guilty to sodomy at a pretrial conference Monday. In return for his guilty plea, the state dropped the molestation charge.
During her testimony at a September 2010 hearing, the victim testified that Higgins often napped with her, and that her mother didn't disapprove. Although the girl told the court the molestation occurred up to four times a month for almost four years, she couldn't remember specific details on the dates, times or the type of abuse that happened between the first and last time Higgins allegedly molested her.
The victim said she reported the sexual abuse to authorities after her fiancee's mother encouraged her to attend counseling at the Southeast Missouri Network Against Sexual Violence.
Higgins will undergo a sentencing assessment report before being sentenced Jan. 23. He faces up to 15 years in prison.
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