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Ex-Missouri Trooper Agrees To Plea Deal in Child Molestation

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File photo of a judge's gavel. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a judge’s gavel. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) – A retired Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper who had been charged with child molestation has been ordered to serve two years of probation after agreeing to a plea deal.

The Joplin Globe reports that 71-year-old James “J.D.” Hall, of Neosho, was scheduled to go to trial Tuesday in Newton County Circuit Court on charges of first-degree child molestation and misdemeanor assault.

But Hall avoided trial by accepting a plea offer Monday from the Missouri attorney general’s office. As part of the deal, Hall pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor assault and to a misdemeanor offense of child endangerment rather than the felony charge of child molestation.

The attorney general’s office was prosecuting the case because Hall had a working relationship with the Newton County prosecutor’s office over the years.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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