Abused four girls over a period of three decades
A Platte County jury has convicted a serial child sex predator who abused four girls over a period of more than three decades.
Robert Billings, 52, of Parkville, was found guilty on April 28 of two felony counts of attempted statutory sodomy in the first degree after a four-day trial.
During the trial, prosecutors took advantage of a 2014 Missouri constitutional amendment allowing juror to hear evidence of prior criminal acts of repeat child sex offenders.
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd wrote the amendment, which permits the admission of “propensity evidence,” and he chaired the successful effort to pass it.
Zahnd said, “Cases involving a young child’s word against an adult’s are very difficult to prove. It’s important that jurors get to hear the full truth of a sexual predator’s prior sexual offenses. I continue to be grateful to Missouri voters for passing this constitutional amendment eight years ago, as it has enabled prosecutors across the state to convict child sex abusers who might otherwise have escaped justice.”
Jurors found that between 2009 and 2018, Billings attempted to touch two girls sexually when they were five or six years old. Both girls said Billings attempted to touch them while they were visiting family members in Parkville.
The jury also heard from two adult women who testified Billings sexually molested them more than 30 years ago. Although those acts could not be charged, jurors nevertheless heard testimony of Billings’ abuse under the constitutional amendment.
Zahnd said, “The girls and grown women who came forward and told their stories are the real heroes of this case. Despite enduring abuse as very young children, they all bravely told the truth about what happened to them. As a result, a serial sex offender now faces decades in prison.”
Billings is scheduled to be sentenced on July 7. He faces up to 24 years in prison.
The case was investigated by the Parkville Police Department. It was tried by assistant prosecuting attorneys Blake Sherer and Amanda Hanson.