On Thursday, December 20, 2018, Taney County Associate Circuit Court Judge Eric Eighmy sentenced JAMES M. STRAUB, d/o/b 1-29-1985, to twenty (20) years in prison for the unclassified felony of attempted rape in the first degree. Straub had pleaded guilty on September 27, 2018, to attempting to rape a woman in a restroom at the Lakeside Wilderness Park, in Branson, on September 21, 2014. Straub had previously pleaded guilty and been sentenced for this crime in 2015, however, the case was remanded back to the trial court after it was determined Straub’s previous lawyer had been ineffective in representing him.
On Sunday afternoon, September 21, 2014, Straub was in a stall of the women’s bathroom at the Lakeside Wilderness Park, when a woman entered the bathroom and used the adjacent stall. When the woman opened the stall door to leave, Straub was standing there and pushed the woman back into the stall while trying to rape her. The woman fought-off Straub and was able to escape the bathroom and alert others at the park. Straub fled and was arrested by Branson Police a short time later, riding a stolen bicycle.
The unclassified felony of attempted rape in the first degree carries a range of punishment of five (5) years up to life in the Missouri Department of Corrections.