Jury Finds Sprofera Guilty in Second Trial

| August 8, 2012
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A former Odessa resident and foster parent has been convicted in a second child sex abuse case.  The charges against Joseph Sprofera, 46, stem from alleged assaults between 2000 and 2007.  Sprofera was sentenced in September 2010 to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections after a jury found him guilty of statutory rape in a December 2007 incident.

A two-day jury trial ended Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012 with the same result.  The second case was heard in Clay County on a change of venue.

Sprofera is expected to face a third victim at a trial in September.  He will go before a jury on Sept. 4 on four counts of statutory sodomy.  The third and oldest case is also being tried in Clay County.

Press Release from Lafayette County Prosecutor Kellie Wingate Campbell

Joseph Sprofera, 46, a former Odessa resident, was found guilty of statutory rape in the first degree following a two-day jury trial that concluded on August 7, 2012.  The trial represented the second time that Sprofera has been convicted of statutory rape, this time on allegations brought by victim under the age of fourteen at the time of the sexual assault.  The State’s case was presented by Lafayette County Prosecutor Kellie Wingate Campbell to a Clay County jury of seven men and five women.  The case was tried in Clay County following the defendant’s motion for change of judge and change of venue.  Sprofera faces the possibility of life in prison in this case, unlike his first trial where he received the maximum sentence of seven years.  Sentencing has been set for September 27th.

Sprofera was arrested in March of 2009 after one victim disclosed sexual abuse.  As other victims came forward, it became apparent that the first victim was unable to proceed to trial.  Campbell dismissed that case while the victim sought treatment and proceeded to trial with another victim, resulting in a 2010 conviction following a jury trial. Campbell’s office re-filed the original charges when the victim indicated she was ready to testify which she did on August 6, 2012. After Sprofera’s first conviction and while awaiting the second trial, Sprofera was held in contempt and sentenced to 270 days in jail for repeatedly cursing during a Clay County hearing in open court.

The first jury trial took place on September 1, 2010, on the charge of statutory rape in the second degree of a fourteen-year old child.  The jury recommended the maximum sentence of seven years on that case.  Campbell is scheduled to present evidence against him at a third jury trial in September for allegedly sodomizing a third victim who was also a child at the time of the sexual assault.  Sprofera also faces a possible life sentence in the third case. All three victims had contact with Sprofera as children while residing in Lafayette County several years ago.  With regard to pending cases, all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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