On Wedneday, a Phelps County jury found Spenser Farr, 25 of Springfield, guilty of three counts of Statutory Sodomy in the First Degree. The Honorable John D. Beger presided over the trial which last three days. The case was prosecuted by Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney, Brendon Fox.
In June of 2017, “victim 1” disclosed to his youth pastor that he had been molested by Spenser Farr in a shower at the Rolla Recreation Centre in 2012. The case was investigated by Detective Adam Meyer of the Rolla Police Department. Det. Meyer interviewed the youth pastor and other witnesses before learning that Farr had been accused of touching a different boy at the Steelville Pool, also in 2012.
Det. Meyer identified and interviewed that boy, “victim 2,” who disclosed that Farr had been his swimming lessons instructor and had molested him in the pool. After the allegations came to light in 2012, the father of “victim 2” confronted Farr at the pool about it and Farr resigned shortly afterward. The family of “victim 2” decided to not pursue the case further due to the stress and impact on him, but when Det. Meyer made contact in 2017 he was older, more mature, and able discuss his experience.
Det. Meyer identified another boy, “victim 3,” who described several incidents at the Steelville Pool in 2012 where he could feel Farr’s erection touching him. He never told anyone until he spoke to Det. Meyer in 2017, but he stopped going to the pool and being around Farr before anything worse could happen. At trial, all three victims testified along with Det. Meyer and some of the victims’ parents who described unexplained changes they observed in their children in 2012.
The defense presented evidence from Farr, his parents, another lifeguard, a police officer from Steelville, and other members of the church. The jury deliberated for approximately five hours before returning their verdicts of not guilty on two counts and guilty on the other three. At sentencing, the jury recommended 10 years in prison on two of the counts, and five years in prison on the other. Judge Beger revoked Farr’s bond and ordered a sentencing assessment report. Final sentencing will take place on June 17, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
“Detective Meyer did an outstanding job investigating this case. He spent months chasing down every lead and interviewing everyone who might have had information. Without his tireless efforts for the victims, this conviction would not have happened,” said Fox. “I want to thank the victims for coming forward. Studies show that at least one in six men will be victims of sexual abuse at some time in their life. For various reasons, the crime often goes unreported. Victims need not suffer in silence; law enforcement cares and wants to help.”