JAMES M. STRAUB, d/o/b 1-29-1985, of Branson, appeared in the Circuit Court of Taney County early Wednesday, May 20, 2015, and entered a plea of guilty to the unclassified felony of attempted forcible rape. Circuit Court Judge Laura Johnson heard the guilty plea and scheduled sentencing for August 27, 2015. Straub entered the plea pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office that caps his possible sentence at twenty-five (25) years in prison.
Straub was charged as a result of an incident late on the afternoon of September 21, 2014, at Lakeside Wilderness Park, off Fall Creek Road, in Branson, where a woman was attacked in the public restroom. Straub was in a stall in the women’s bathroom, and when the victim opened her stall door to leave, Straub assaulted and attempted to rape her. The woman fought-off Straub and was able to escape. Straub fled the scene, but was arrested moments later by Branson Police.
Attempted forcible rape carries a range of punishment of five (5) years up to life in the Missouri Department of Corrections. In such cases, the Missouri Department of Corrections calculates a life sentence as thirty (30) years.