Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeffrey M. Merrell announced today that MICHAEL HUNGERFORD, dob: 11/7/1955 of Powersite, Missouri was found guilty as charged of the class B felony child molestation in the first degree. The three day jury trial which completed today was moved to Christian County from Taney County on a change of venue motion filed by the defendant. The four (4) women and eight (8) man Christian County jury deliberated a little over five (5) hours before reaching their verdict.

On October 16, 2008, an eyewitness observed MICHAEL HUNGERFORD rubbing a ten year old student between the legs with his fingers in his classroom during school hours at the Forsyth Middle School. The ten year old student later disclosed this inappropriate rubbing during a forensic interview at the Child Advocacy Center in Springfield, Missouri. Investigation of the molestation and questioning of the defendant MICHAEL HUNGERFORD was completed by officers from the Forsyth Police Department.

Formal sentencing is set for May 11, 2010. The class B felony of child molestation in the first degree has a range of punishment of five (5) to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.