Rolla man sentenced to three life sentences


Lawrence Mullen, 49 of Rolla, was sentenced to three life sentences plus 22 years in prison for two counts of statutory sodomy, and one count each of sexual exploitation of a child, possession of child pornography, and use of a child in a sexual performance.

The Rolla Daily News reported in 2016 that Mullen was arrested after the Rolla Police Department conducted an investigation into a report of child molestation that had occurred the month before. Police were told then that a 5-year-old girl had been molested by an identified individual while she was visiting a residence in town.

Based on information that was developed at the time, detectives, along with the Rolla Police Department’s SWAT team, executed a search warrant at the reported residence.

During the search, numerous electronic devices were seized as evidence. When these devices were examined, digital images of child pornography were discovered, included evidence of the alleged child molestation, leading to Mullen’s arrest and subsequent charges.

All the sentences were ordered to be served consecutively to one another. The case was prosecuted by Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney, Brendon Fox and Assistant Prosecutor, Kara Breshears. The sentencing follows guilty verdicts on all counts by a Pulaski County jury on July 19, 2017.

“This was one of the most horrible cases I have ever had to prosecute,” said Fox.  “Mr. Mullen subjected his five year old victim to horrible sexual abuse and photographed himself doing it. Additionally he had many images of child pornography on his computer. I’m thankful for the victim’s mother for coming forward and making sure he couldn’t have any more victims.

Fox went on to say, “I’m thankful for the investigation by the Det. Sgt. Hank Harper and the others at RPD. I’m thankful for the excellent forensic computer work performed by Inv. Wayne Becker. I’m thankful for the work by Moriah Joplin and everyone else at all Child Advocacy Centers state wide. And I am thankful for the assistance at trial by Assistant Prosecutor Kara Breshears and my Legal Assistant Linda Morris. This was a big win for the good guys and we can all rest a little easier knowing Lawrence Mullen can never hurt another child.”