On Tuesday, a Phelps County jury found Cregg Snyder, 50, of Rolla, guilty of four counts of Statutory Sodomy in the First Degree.
The Honorable John D. Beger presided over the trial which lasted two days. The case was prosecuted by Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney, Brendon Fox.
In early 2015 Snyder had sexual contact with a then seven-year-old. The child first disclosed to foster parents in 2016. An investigation took place and found that two other children, who were nine and eleven at the time of the abuse, had similar experiences with Snyder.
Initially Snyder was charged with nine counts, but shortly before trial five counts were dismissed. “The child was not ready to face Snyder in court. I decided to put off those charges to a later date when the child is able to participate in the court process,” said Fox.
At trial, both victims testified to what Snyder had done. Additionally, a video interview of the younger child was shown to the jury. Fox felt the video was extremely important because “it shows the child in a safe place sharing his experience in his own words. The child did his best in court, but froze on the stand out of fear from being in the same room as his abuser.”
The oldest child first disclosed his abuse in early 2017. “I think he just needed more time to process his experience before he was comfortable telling anyone about it,” said Fox. At trial the oldest child faced Snyder and told the jury what happened. He also testified on rebuttal following Snyder’s testimony.
At trial, Snyder claimed the children had made up the story and been coerced by family, a claim the jury rejected. The jury deliberated for just over two hours before returning guilty verdicts on all counts.
“I want to say thank you to Detective Sergeant Hank Harper, all the DFS workers, counselors and therapists, Diana Sederwall at Kids Harbor, the foster parents, and family for their hard work investigating the case and supporting of the victims,” said Fox. He also noted this was his first time working with BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse). “I think nine different members were present for trial prep and during the trial to help the victims. I know their presence, along with everyone else, helped the victims a lot.” BACA is an organization that works to empower children throughout the court process.
Sentencing is set for July 16, 2018 at 10:30AM. Snyder faces from 20-120 years in prison.
Information provided by the Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney's office