Platte County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Chris Seufert has been named Co-Chair of the Missouri Bar’s Criminal Practice and Procedure Committee by Bar President Erik Bergmanis. The committee is responsible for reviewing proposed criminal legislation, providing educational programs for lawyers practicing criminal law, and maintaining relationships with governmental agencies, judges, and court personnel.
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “Chris Seufert is a recognized leader among prosecutors, particularly in the challenging arena of child sexual abuse. Platte County is fortunate to have him working every day to keep our citizens safe, and we are also fortunate that he is sharing his expertise to improve the criminal law throughout Missouri.”
Seufert was selected as Co-Chair due, in part, to his work on revising Missouri’s criminal code to make it easier to understand and use. The decade-long process led to a newly revised criminal code which will go into effect January 1, 2017.
Seufert also conceived of and helped draft a 2014 amendment to the Missouri Constitution to allow juries to know about repeat child predators’ prior criminal acts. The amendment was widely seen as an important step to prevent child sexual abuse in Missouri.
A career prosecutor, Seufert has handled dozens of child sexual abuse cases in Platte County. Several of the cases resulted effectively in life sentences for the defendants, including the recent prosecution of Darren Paden, a case that received national and international attention. Seufert and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Myles Perry obtained a 60-year prison sentence against Paden, who is 52, despite the fact that some in Paden’s small town continued to side with him in the face of overwhelming evidence of guilt.
Seufert has been recognized with the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys Executive Director's Award and was named an Up & Coming Attorney in Public Service by Missouri Lawyer's Weekly. In 2015, he was named the Family and Sexual Violence Hero of the Year by the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. He has also been named “Citizen of the Week” by a regional radio station.
Seufert said, “I am happy to do whatever I can to help ensure Missouri’s criminal laws keep our citizens safe while also protecting the rights of the accused.”
Seufert’s first meeting as co-chair was at the fall committee meetings of the Missouri Bar in Jefferson City on November 20. He gave a presentation to the committee on the new criminal code he helped write. Seufert co-chairs the committee with Ellen Flottman, a public defender from Columbia.
A photo of Seufert is above. If you need additional information, please contact our office’s media liaison, Tanya Faherty.
Eric G. Zahnd
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney
415 Third Street, Suite 60
Platte City, Missouri 64079
(816) 858-3472 (fax)