A Sedalia man has been arrested on multiple counts of sexual abuse after a lengthy investigation by the Sedalia Police Department.
On Thursday, SPD released information about 72-year-old Garry G. Sorrell's arrest, which occurred Nov. 4 at the SPD Headquarters.
SPD Detective Ty Barrett had only recently been put on the case involving alleged abuse by Sorrell.
“It was an investigation that I was assigned at the beginning of last month,” Barrett confirmed Thursday. “It was originally taken by a patrol officer, was confirmed with Children’s Division and Child Safe of (Central Missouri), and I started investigating the case after the initial report was completed.”
A probable cause statement filed with the Pettis County Prosecutor’s Office details sexual abuse beginning 10 years ago and continuing to the present.
With time elapsed since the original abuse, and scarce evidence remaining, the forensic interviews were crucial to solving the case, getting an arrest, and potentially getting Sorrell convicted.
“Whenever we get a case of any type of child abuse or any kind of alleged sexual abuse of a child, we do as thorough investigation as possible,” Barrett said, “meaning that we're using proper channels and forensic interviews with the children to make sure that any of their statements are recorded and can be used in court.”
Barrett interviewed the suspect next, armed with transcripts from the Child Safe interviews.
Matching the statements from the children against Sorrell’s statements, Barrett was able to obtain enough evidence to feel confident the charges against Sorrell will stick.
“That's how these cases are broken, the corroboration element of it,” Barrett said. “Due to the ongoing length of how long it has been going on before the children actually disclosed, there wasn't very much physical evidence, so it was mostly just basic investigation and interrogation interview skills.”
Barrett said the case comes down to the believability of the abused versus the statements of the accused.
Sorrell has been charged with two counts of first-degree child molestation involving a victim under 12. He has been issued a $250,000 bond, cash or surety; online court documents state the “monetary bond is required to assure Defendant's attendance in court due to serious nature of the charges.” An arraignment took place Nov. 7 in Pettis County Circuit Court. A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 6 for attorney status.
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