Rural Verona man bound over on sexual abuse charges

Apr. 19—MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — A Lawrence County judge has ordered a 20-year-old defendant bound over on charges that he raped, exploited and sexually abused a 17-year-old girl.

Judge Don Trotter decided at a preliminary hearing in Lawrence County Circuit Court that there is probable cause for Skyler O. Shriver, of rural Verona, to stand trial on counts of second-degree rape, sexual exploitation of a minor and second-degree sexual abuse. Shriver's initial appearance in a trial division of the court is set for May 28.

Probable-cause affidavits filed with the charges allege that on June 2 the defendant forced nonconsensual intercourse with the girl and later took her to a residence in Lawrence County where he removed her clothing and enticed another male to have sex with her. While that was taking place, Shriver made a cellphone video of the girl and the other male engaged in a sex act, the affidavits allege.

The night of June 21, 2023, the defendant attended a party where the girl was and asked to speak with her outside in the yard. Once he got her there, he began coming on to her and grabbed her by her genitals through her clothing, according to one of the affidavits.

The document further states that when she elbowed him and managed to break free, he chased her down and slapped her on her behind. A third-degree assault charge filed in connection with that slap was dismissed by the judge at the hearing.

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.