Two Independence residents have been charged in relation to a case in which a child allegedly was regularly molested over the course of several years.
According to court documents, Steven Nelson, 42, and Paula Stark, 47, were arrested following an Independence Police Department investigation.
On April 12, an officer was sent to Bingham Middle School regarding the report of a sexual offence against a girl with low verbalization skills, according to the police probable cause statement, which explains the victim’s teacher reported the victim made that comments that her “bottom hurt.”
The victim was provided with dolls and was asked to show what she meant. Court documents state the victim used the female doll, labeled as her, to show what occurred, using another doll she described as her abuser. The victim repeated the display with the dolls in front of a Children’s Division worker. The girl was taken into protective custody.
Nelson and Stark were both interviewed.
According to the probable cause statement, Nelson admitted to having sex with the victim several times a week since the victim was 3 years old.
Stark was interviewed by the Children’s Division worker, who asked Stark how long she knew of Nelson’s actions. According to court documents, Stark stated she caught him in the act approximately two months ago, and made a report when the victim 3 three years old. According to the documents, no report has been found to support her claim, and Nelson later told the officer Stark caught him in the act “five or six times,” and ignored “numerous chances” to report him. Stark later admitted to having never filed a report
In an interview with Nelson on April 18, conducted by the officer, Nelson stated he would continue to have sex with the victim if given the chance, according to the case’s probable cause statement.
On the same day, the victim made several statements, again confirming what happened.
Nelson is charged with statutory rape in the first degree, as well as statutory sodomy and additional counts of the same toward an individual of less than 14 years old.
Stark is charged with two counts endangering the welfare of a child for failing to protect the victim.