It took forty minutes for the jury to find Steven R. Abbott, 29, of Senath, Mo., guilty of the charges against him, which stem from an incident that occurred January 23, 2010 in Senath. The State's case was prosecuted by Stephen P. Sokoloff, Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney, with assistance from Jonce Chidister, assistant prosecuting attorney for the county.
During the trial, Sokoloff told the jury that, "Even though there wasn't any physical evidence, the 13-year-old victim's account of the occurrence was the only one that made sense." He urged the jury to use their "common sense" and to hold the defendant responsible for his acts.
Associate Circuit Judge H. Mark Preyer ordered the defendant remanded to the custody of the Dunklin County Sheriff, pending the sentencing, after the jury came back with its "guilty" verdict. The sentencing date has been set for February 23, 2012.
According to the prosecutor's office, the sodomy charge carries a range of punishment from five years to life imprisonment, and the child molestation conviction could carry a range of punishment from five to fifteen years.
The defendant was represented in court by attorneys Daren Todd and Jeff McCormick.