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Platte County Jury Finds Repeat Sex Offender Guilty


4/30/2024 9:51:00 AM

A Platte County jury has found a repeat sex offender guilty of raping a 14-year-old girl on multiple occasions from 2016 to 2017. Joseph E. Ginn was found guilty of second degree statutory rape, two counts of second degree statutory sodomy, and second degree child molestation on April 24 following a three-day trial.

Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “This man molested a 12-year-old girl in Andrew County in 2002. And he did it again in Platte County. He now needs the maximum sentence so he won’t be able to do it again for decades.

After nearly a year of abuse, the victim disclosed Ginn’s abuse to a relative in August 2017. She later disclosed the abuse to a therapist, who called the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline. The Missouri Children’s Division and the Kansas City Police Department then began an investigation. Ginn told police he never lived at the house with the victim, which was determined to be false.

The victim gave a child forensic interview at Synergy Services, a local Child Advocacy Center. Unfortunately, unlike the laws of most other states and the federal government, Missouri only permits forensic interviews of children under the age of 14 to be admissible at trial.In 2023, Zahnd drafted a revision to Missouri law and urged lawmakers to adopt it. That proposal was included in a bill that passed the legislature last year. Unfortunately, Governor Mike Parson vetoed the bill based on other, unrelated provisions. Bills again including the provision are currently pending.

Zahnd said, “Child sexual abuse almost always occurs in the dark. Child forensic interviews are specifically designed to shine the bright light of truth on those dark crimes. Those interviews should be admissible for children of any age in Missouri, just like they are in other states.”

Because Ginn was a prior offender, Judge Ann Hansbrough is the sole authority on his ultimate sentence. He faces up to 22 years in prison, and Zahnd said his office would seek that full amount.

The case was tried by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Sydney Alizadeh and First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mark Gibson.

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