MARSHALL, MO – A jury out of Lafayette County convicted a Marshall resident of sexual molestation Thursday evening.

A press release from Saline County prosecuting attorney said the jury spent five hours in deliberation after hearing testimony from medical professionals. Witnesses testified the defendant, Mark T. Hughes, 25, went to an emergency room, January, 2018, complaining of a sexually transmitted disease. Days later, according to the testimony, he brought his three-year-old girls for treatment of similar symptoms.  Failure to contact Hughes led medical personnel to call the Child Abuse Hotline.  Medical professionals testified in court that the two girls must have acquired the disease through sexual contact.

According to the prosecutor, the jury convicted Hughes based solely on this testimony, with no reliable testimony from the victims, and no confession. Hughes was convicted of two felony counts each of child molestation, and child endangerment.