A 31 year old father was accused of sexually fondling his 5 year old son’s genitals.
The accusation came out several months after the boy’s parents had finalized their divorce. The father entered a plea to an Alford plea to a charge of criminal sexual assault. This plea allows a defendant to maintain their innocence, but concedes to the prosecution that there would be sufficient evidence for a conviction should the case ever proceed to trial. The father entered the plea with an agreement that he would be sentenced to three years probation.
Unfortunately a couple years later a sex offender registration law was enacted which the father stated “ruined his reputation.” Over a decade later the son recanted the accusation against his father stating it was a lie. The son stated the mother coerced him into the allegation because she was upset about not getting primary custody of the boy in the divorce. The family requested a gubernatorial pardon as part of the confession. This high profile case was written about in the Kansas City Star newspaper.
Finally after two decades of this nightmare ordeal, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon granted the boy’s father a pardon, referencing the son’s recantation and the father’s spotless record as a law abiding citizen.