From: Platte County Prosecuting Attorney "Eric Zahnd"
Date: June 24, 2015
Subject: Prior sex offender gets 36 years in prison
A Kansas City man has been sentenced to 36 years in prison for having deviate sexual intercourse with two girls under the age of twelve. Jerry L. Snodgrass, 58, received the sentence in Platte County Circuit Court on June 19. Snodgrass had previously been convicted of sexual misconduct with a child in Kansas.
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “It is heartbreaking that this man had the opportunity to hurt more children after being convicted of a sex crime in Kansas. I hope this sentence will end his abuse of children once and for all.”
In December 2013, the mother of one of the victims reported to Riverside police that Snodgrass had inappropriate sexual contact with her daughter. In January 2014, another mother reported to Riverside authorities that Snodgrass had molested her daughter.
The victims were both interviewed by the Child’s Advocacy Center at Synergy Service, and they disclosed sexual abuse by Snodgrass. One of the victim’s mothers said her daughter told her she didn’t want to go to Snodgrass’ apartment and would sit in the corner and not move. The victim also disclosed that Snodgrass told her not to tell anyone about the abuse.
Snodgrass admitted to having several children at his apartment and some of them stayed the night. Snodgrass stated the victim wanted to come to his residence because she gets attention there.
Snodgrass was sentenced to 18 years on each count of statutory sodomy. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively to one another.
In 1995, Snodgrass was found guilty of indecent liberties with a child in Kansas. The victim in that case testified at sentencing that Snodgrass had sexually abused her from the time she was 4 until she was 14 years old.
If Snodgrass’ current case had gone to trial, the jury would have been allowed to know about his prior sex crime, thanks to an amendment to the Missouri Constitution passed in November 2014. Zahnd was a leading proponent of the amendment.
Zahnd said, “I have no doubt that the recent change to the Missouri Constitution was instrumental in the defendant’s decision to plead guilty and forgo a trial. It spared these children the trauma of a trial and helped secure a sentence that will likely result in the defendant spending the rest of his life in prison, which is where he belongs.”
The case was investigated by the Riverside Police Department. It was prosecuted by Chris Seufert.
If you need additional information, please contact our office’s media liaison, Jill Baker.
Eric G. Zahnd
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney
415 Third Street, Suite 60
Platte City, Missouri 64079
(816) 858-3472 (fax)