LONNIE PICKLE, d/o/b 1-18-1979, of Merriam Woods, was sentenced by Judge Mark Orr Thursday, November 15, 2012, to four (4) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for the felony of sexual assault. The sentence stemmed from a guilty plea entered by Pickle, just before commencement of his jury trial, on September 17, 2012, for the crime of rape. On the morning of trial, the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office and the attorney for Pickle reached an agreement that Pickle would plead guilty, without any agreement as to sentence, to the class C felony of sexual assault.

Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell says “The class C felony of sexual assault applies well to the facts of this case, because the crime of sexual assault is committed where the defendant has sexual intercourse with someone, knowing that he did so without the consent of that person. That is what happened between Pickle and the victim in this case.” Merrell said that there were several factors that were considered in reaching the agreement to amend the charge to sexual assault, including “the prior romantic relationship between Pickle and the victim, the well-being of the victim, and the ability of the victim to effectively articulate the facts to a jury.”

The class C felony of sexual assault carries a maximum sentence of seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and a maximum potential fine of $5,000.00.