Teacher's aide faces child sex charges

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Shanna Lea Angle, 38, of Cassville, a former employee of the Southwest R-V School District, was charged with four counts of child molestation on Feb. 1.

Southwest administrators were notified of allegations regarding Angle's conduct on Jan. 25.

Although Richard Asbill, Southwest superintendent, could not comment on how the allegations were brought to the administration's attention, he did comment on the district's response to the situation.

"A rumor and allegation were presented to the middle school principal," said Asbill. "We began an investigation and review of the issue. We made a referral to the Barry County Sheriff's office, and when we completed our investigation, we turned the information over to the sheriff's office."

After reviewing the facts and relevant information that were found during the district investigation, Asbill presented all information to the sheriff's office on Jan. 26.

"The middle school principal took every step to ensure the safety of all the children," said Asbill. "I believe he acted appropriately in a timely manner in addressing the allegations and concerns to ensure that the children's safety was our first priority."

After the information was transferred to the sheriff's department, Barry County Deputy Sheriff Brian Martin, who is currently assigned to the 39th Circuit Child Abuse Task Force as a criminal investigator, continued the investigation.

On Jan. 31, Martin asked for charges to be filed against Angle. According to the affidavits of probable cause, Angle allegedly had sexual contact with two Southwest students, who were under 14 years of age, by touching them in a sexual manner on top of their clothing. Angle also allegedly invited both students to visit her residence to engage in sexual intercourse.

After one student accepted her invitation, Angle allegedly performed deviate sexual intercourse on the student and engaged in sexual intercourse with the student at her residence near Butterfield.

Johnnie Cox, Barry County prosecuting attorney, has charged Angle with two Class B felony counts of child molestation in the first degree, one Class felony of statutory sodomy in the first degree and one Class felony of statutory rape in the first degree.

On Feb. 1, Angle appeared in front of Judge Michael Garrett in Barry County Associate Circuit Court. Angle pleaded not guilty to all counts. Bond was set at $40,000 and a change of venue was granted. The case has been transferred to Stone County.

Angle surrendered herself at at the Barry County Jail after the hearing. She was released on bond, under special conditions, last week.

According to the special conditions set by Garrett, Angle must adhere to the following guidelines: live at her home in Butterfield; not leave the state of Missouri without prior court permission; not have any unsupervised contact with any person under 18 years of age; avoid all contact with school property; and not come into contact with any of her alleged victims or members of her alleged victims' families.

Angle faces a possible five to 15 years in prison if she is convicted of either of the first two charges against her, said Cox.

"The third and fourth counts are unclassified felonies with five to 30 years punishment each," said Cox. "In Missouri, 30 years is considered life, so it's five to 30 years or life."

Angle has retained attorney Michael Riehn, of Cassville, to represent her. She is scheduled to appear in Stone County court at 9 a.m. on March 1.

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