Area couple convicted of child abuse

A Theodosia husband and wife, 55-year-old David Bauer and 33-year-old Tiffany Bauer, have been convicted of one count of first degree statutory sodomy of a child younger than 12.

The Ozark County Times reports the couple was convicted earlier this month after Associate Judge Elizabeth Brock took the case under advisement following a court trail in early November. Judge
Bock found the Bauers not guilty of an additional charge of statutory rape.

A sentencing assessment report will be prepared by the Missouri Department of Corrections Board of Probation and Parole and includes a recommended sentence based on the offenders’ risk level, nature and severity of the offense, prior criminal history and other relevant factors. The report should be accessible to Bock before the Bauers’ sentencing hearing set for March 11th.

The case came to light in April 2015 after the Missouri Division of Children’s Services received a hotline call alleging educational neglect for a girl who had lived with the Bauers from August 2014 to March 2015 when she was 8 years old. The hotline call, received shortly after the girl moved to Branson to live with her father, alleged the girl had forgone public school or homeschooling while she lived with the Bauers in Theodosia. When a children’s services worker went to a Branson-area school to speak with the girl about the lack of schooling while she lived with the Bauers, she reportedly told the worker she had been involved in sexual acts with David while Tiffany was present.

In testimony during the trial, Ozark County Chief Deputy Winston Collins said the Bauers were fully cooperative with law enforcement during the course of the investigation. They both have adamantly denied all allegations and said they believe the child was coached by the girlfriend of the girl’s father to report the allegations.

Missouri Revised Statute 566.062 details the punishment for a defendant who has committed the offense of statuary sodomy in the first degree. The statute indicates if convicted of statutory sodomy in the first degree involving a victim younger than 12, the sentencing can range from 10 years in prison to life imprisonment. Defendants sentenced under this statute are also not eligible for parole until 85 percent of the sentence is served.

Photos courtesy of Ozark County Sheriff's Office

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