A Garden City man is accused of molesting a 7-year-old girl after police received a report of sexual abuse from a concerned family member earlier this year.
After an investigation, Anthony S. Hall, 36, was charged with first-degree child molestation in Cass County Circuit Court. He was arrested Nov. 6 at his workplace in Harrisonville.
The court entered a not guilty plea Nov. 7 on Hall’s behalf.
Garden City Police Chief Thomas Alber said in a news release that the arrest came as the result of several months of investigative work in the case.
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According to a WDAF-TV report about the arrest, Hall was known in Garden City for dressing up as Santa Claus during the holidays.
A family member of the girl contacted police in August and indicated a belief that the girl had been sexually abused by another family member, according to a probable cause statement. The family member who contacted police said the girl told her mother and grandmother about an alleged incident involving Hall.
A case worker with the Missouri Children’s Division interviewed the girl at the police department, where the girl described instances of sexual abuse and drew pictures to show what happened.
Two days later, Hall denied the allegations and denied speaking with the girl’s mother about the incident in an interview with police.
Hall later recanted after seeing the pictures drawn by the girl and admitted that the girl’s mother did speak with him about the incident. He said he reached an agreement with the girl’s mother that would minimize contact with the girl for a month.
Hall also told police that this was not the first time he had been accused of inappropriate sexual contact with children.
In a separate interview, the girl’s mother also denied at first that the girl had disclosed allegations of sexual abuse against Hall.
When confronted by police with the drawings and Hall’s statements, police said the mother recalled a time when the girl said Hall made her feel uncomfortable.
Later in August, court records said the girl was interviewed by the Child Protection Center in Kansas City. During that interview, the girl described a specific incident from more than a year ago when Hall inappropriately touched her at home.
Similar to other interviews, the girl said she told her mother what happened. In the interview with the Child Protection Center, the girl also said her mother had cried when she told her. Court records also said the girl’s mother “had told her not to tell anyone else about it.”
Hall remained in the Cass County jail with bail set at $25,000 and a case review is scheduled Jan. 11.