Missouri man faces life in prison in child sex abuse case

PLATTE CITY, Mo. (AP) — A northwest Missouri man is facing a mandatory life sentence for child sexual abuse after he was found to be a predatory sexual offender.

A Platte County jury found 50-year-old Fentress Maurice Wilson of Riverside guilty Tuesday of first-degree statutory sodomy of an 8-year-old girl.

After he was convicted, prosecutors presented testimony that Wilson had a decades-long history of sex crimes against children.

Missouri law allows prosecutors to cite previous acts of abuse only to increase punishment after a defendant has been found guilty.

Platte County Eric Zahnd is part of an effort to change the Missouri Constitution to allow prosecutors to tell jurors about a defendant’s prior sex offenses before they reach a verdict. The measure will appear on the November ballot.

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