Retired state trooper James D. Hall is facing charges of child molestation and third-degree assault stemming from accusations made by two female minors, both under the age of 13.
Hall, 70, of Neosho, who served the Newton County area as a member of Troop D, worked as a Missouri State Highway patrolman for more than 30 years.
Hall turned himself in to the Newton County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday, Oct. 10, and was subsequently released after posting $5,000 bond.
According to Missouri CaseNet, a separate condition of Hall’s release is that he have no interaction with individuals under the age of 17.
Though the Newton County Sheriff’s Department performed the initial investigation, those findings have been turned over to the office of Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, due to Hall’s previous professional relationship with the Newton County prosecutor’s office.
According to a probable cause affidavit, written by Jared Roderick of the Public Safety Division of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, the most recent alleged incidents occurred in February 2012.
Hall is charged with a Class B felony for first-degree child molestation, stemming from alleged repeated incidents when Hall allegedly inappropriately touched an 11-year-old girl’s buttocks and genitals through her clothing while she was visiting his home.
According to Roderick’s statement, Timothy Perigo, 40th circuit court judge, said he spoke with the juvenile on Feb. 15, at which time the juvenile described a separate incident when Hall had allegedly kissed her inappropriately.
“Judge Perigo stated [juvenile] told him that on the last visit to the Hall residence, James Hall kissed her on the lips, and described the kiss as not how a grandparent would kiss,” the probable cause statement reads.
Roderick states in the probable cause statement that Michael Barnett, detective with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, spoke with Hall on Feb. 17, 2012, at which time Hall stated that he has not touched anyone inappropriately.
Roderick also lists a separate incident, involving a second juvenile girl, also age 11 at the time.
The alleged incident, which is the basis for the third-degree misdemeanor assault charge, allegedly occurred at a local church.
According to Roderick’s statement, Perigo confirmed in a previous interview that Hall did assist with a youth program at that church during the same time period that the alleged incident occurred.
According to the probable cause statement, the second juvenile stated in a forensic interview, conducted on Feb. 22, 2012, that an adult helper, named “JD”, had assisted her with reading the Bible on numerous occasions at church. While doing so, he allegedly rubbed his hand inappropriately on her top and inner thighs, which she stated made her feel “awkward, weird and funny.”
Page 2 of 2 - “[Juvenile] stated on prior incidents, she scooted away from JD or crossed her legs to stop the touches,” the report stated.
The two counts were filed by the state attorney general’s office on Tuesday, Oct. 9.
If found guilty, first-degree child molestation could result in up to 15 years imprisonment, and not less than five years. If found guilty of third-degree assault, the defendant could face a $300 fine, no more than 15 days imprisonment, or a combination of the two.
Hall is being represented by Neosho attorney Charles Ross Rhoades.
Rhoades filed a motion to dismiss and a request for a bill of particulars on Wednesday.
Hall is scheduled to appear before Dade County Associate Circuit Judge David Munton for arraignment at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, in the Division 1 courtroom of the Newton County Courthouse.