Randall E. Paton, Jr., 27, of Belton, was sentenced on May 19, 2014 to fourteen years in the Missouri Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to four counts of Statutory Rape in the Second Degree.¬†
Lafayette County Prosecutor Kristen Ellis, formerly of Gallatin, represented the State at the plea and sentencing.
Charges against Paton were filed after officers with the Lexington Police Department learned two female cadets at Wentworth Military Academy reported an officer who was assigned to work with and counsel the cadets had engaged in a sexual relationship with both of them.¬†
Throughout the investigation, law enforcement discovered Paton sent inappropriate text messages to both girls and nude photos of himself to at least one of the girls.¬† The sexual encounters between Paton and the victims began in December of 2012 and continued until April of 2013, when officials at Wentworth learned of the relationships and confronted Paton.¬† Some of the encounters took place on the grounds at Wentworth while others took place at the home of the defendant.¬† The victims were 15 and 16 at the time.¬†¬†
At the sentencing hearing, Prosecutor Kristen Ellis asked the Court to sentence the defendant to fourteen years in prison, stating that the defendant had been in a position of authority and was someone these girls looked to for guidance.¬†
Although the defendant, through his attorney, asked for leniency because of his military career and service to his country, the Honorable Dennis Rolf granted the State‚Äôs request and sentenced the defendant to fourteen years.¬†