Fighting for Justice - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Fighting for Justice

Fighting for Justice
By: CJ Cassidy

Some Heartland parents call their fight for justice long and rocky, and far from over.

You may remember this story from almost two years ago, at the time a top parole administrator in Mississippi County faced charges for allegedly molesting two young girls.

At the time, the victim's parents thought it would be too traumatizing for their children to have to relive their pain in a court-room, so they told the prosecutor they'd prefer to reach a plea agreement instead.

Now however, after Roger Rutledge failed to show up for one court appearance and arrived late for another, the angry parents say they're prepared to go to trial if necessary.

"They're not happy go lucky young girls, sometimes they feel ashamed of it like they done it. They're innocent in this," Joel Sutton and his ex-wife say it's 53-year-old Roger Rutledge who should be ashamed.

The former parole administrator faces three felony counts of child molestation. Charges say his victims were two young girls, ages ten and eight.

Sutton says Rutledge was a close family friend who took advantage of their trust.

"I think the man deserves some sort of punishment for this," he says.

Kayla's the mother of one girl and step-mother of the other child. She would only talk to us as long as we kept her identity a secret.

She says waiting for judgement to be passed on the former parole administrator, is worse than any prison sentence.

"We tell our children to talk to us, and tell us when someone's done you wrong and that's exactly what they did, and it was very brave of them to do that," she says.

Prosecutor Darren Cann agrees, and says it's now up to Kayla and Sutton to decide whether to take Rutledge to trial.

"A case like this very very traumatizing on the victim and on the parent to sit through this and see their child have to go through this," he explains.

The victim's parents say if it means winning the fight for justice, they're ready to take on the agony.

"I'm wanting them to have closure," Kayla says.

Prosecutor Cann initially offered to lower the felony charges against Rutledge to a misdemeanor charge.

Now Cann says that offer is off the table.

He says if Rutledge doesn't accept another offer that includes jail time, he will take him to trial.

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