Missouri

Ex-teacher accused of having ongoing sexual contact with teen, Missouri sheriff says

Brady S. Anton, 49, of Boonville, Missouri
Brady S. Anton, 49, of Boonville, Missouri Cooper County Sheriff's Office

A former teacher in Missouri has been accused of having sexual contact with children, and court records indicate the sexual encounters began more than eight years ago.

Brady S. Anton, 49, of Boonville, is facing charges in two separate cases involving two alleged victims.

On Tuesday, the Cooper County Sheriff's Office announced a grand jury indicted Anton for three counts of first-degree statutory sodomy, two counts of first-degree child molestation and two counts of enticement of a child.

Then on Wednesday, Anton was charged with second-degree statutory sodomy and second-degree child molestation. She entered a not guilty plea to these charges during a hearing on Wednesday, online court records said.

Anton was taken into custody Tuesday after authorities from the sheriff's office and Missouri State Highway Patrol executed a search warrant at a West End Drive home, according to a Facebook statement from the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office said the grand jury indictment is connected to an investigation authorities had been conducting involving Anton and "underage children in the Boonville area between 2010 and 2013."

According to a probable cause statement connected to the second-degree statutory sodomy and child molestation charges, Anton told authorities she had been in contact with one of the alleged victims, a 15-year-old boy, from January 2010 to 2012. She didn't say how the contact started but court records said she saw the boy not "as a child, but as a tall handsome man." Anton also added the boy was "mature for his age" and "nice to talk to about life."

She described those years as "a dark period in her life" when she and her ex-husband were "splitting up," court records said.

During that time period, Anton worked as a middle school teacher in Boonville, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.

She told authorities she and the teen would take short trips together, park the vehicle, talk and then sexual contact occurred, court records said. These alleged encounters took place five or six times.

Authorities started looking into Anton after receiving an anonymous tip around May 2010 about her relationship with the boy. Court records said the Division of Family Services and the Juvenile Office followed up and interviewed Anton "and all parties involved." At the time, the incident was deemed "unfounded."

But a few weeks after the 2010 interviews, court records state Anton admitted to "having an affair" with the boy to her ex-husband and her in-laws.

"She explained that she was not herself during that time but that she knew what she had done was wrong," court records said.

The investigation into Anton's alleged sexual encounters with children "is still open," Cooper County Prosecuting Attorney Douglas Abele said on Wednesday.

Abele also pointed out to media outlets, including The Star, that the statute of limitations in the state "is significantly longer" in certain sex offenses involving children — 30 years following their 18th birthday.

He declined to comment further on the case.

The sheriff's office said anyone with information in regard to the investigation is asked to call its agency at 660-882-2771.

Anton remained in the county jail Thursday with bail amounts set at $150,000 cash or surety and $15,000, cash only.

A counsel status hearing for Anton is scheduled for July 3, according to online court records.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker and Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd talk about the difficult task of investigating and prosecuting child sex cases.

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