BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- A Dexter, Mo., man was sentenced to 14 years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to molesting a girl in 2010.
Raymond Henson, 33, pleaded guilty as charged to first-degree child molestation, according to Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Russ Oliver. Henson entered his plea before Presiding Circuit Judge Stephen Sharp during his arraignment.
The plea agreement, which included the 14-year sentence, was negotiated before court, Oliver said.
Henson had been accused of subjecting the victim, who was 5 at the time, to sexual contact through the clothing both were wearing on a day between Nov. 1 and 25, 2010.
"It was very important to the state that we didn't have to put a child through telling her story to 12 strangers, and I also thought the 14 years was an appropriate sentence, given the mandatory minimum of 85 percent he would have to serve" before he is eligible for parole, Oliver explained.
The charge against Henson stemmed from an investigation by the Dexter Police Department.
When police interviewed Henson, who was told of his rights, he initially denied the sexual abuse allegations, saying he never touched the girl in a sexual manner, according to Detective Cory Mills' probable-cause statement.
Later in the interview, Mills said, Henson admitted he "pretended to have sex with her. Raymond stated they were both clothed.
"Raymond stated he was teaching [the girl] sex wasn't a good thing unless it was with the right partner."
Henson, Mills said, reported he was giving the girl a lesson about sex and wasn't trying to hurt her.