A Coushatta, La., man faces multiple mandatory life sentences in prison for sexually abusing a young girl.
Robert E. McDonald, 49, was found guilty of 10 felonies and also found to be a predatory sex offender on May 17 after a four-day jury trial in Platte County.
“This defendant preyed on a little girl, and she’ll live with what he did to her for the rest of her life,” Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “But he will now be sentenced to life in prison and live with what he did to her for the rest of his life, too.”
On Dec. 26, 2012, the victim disclosed that, when she was between the ages of five and seven years old, McDonald repeatedly sexually abused and raped her.
A medical examination of the victim revealed physical indications consistent with sexual abuse. The victim’s sister testified that the defendant had also touched her in a sexual way.
During his closing argument, the criminal defense attorney accused the victim, her sister, and their uncle of lying. The victim was sitting in the front row surrounded by family and supporters. When the defense attorney called her a liar, she began to sob uncontrollably.
The jury believed the victim and found McDonald guilty on all counts.
“The criminal defense attorney called this courageous young woman a liar,” Zahnd said. “I call her a hero. She endured horrible abuse, but she was brave enough to confront her abuser in court.”
After the jury returned its verdict, McDonald, who was being held in the Platte County Jail in lieu of bond, refused to return to the courtroom. In his absence, prosecutors also proved that McDonald was a predatory sexual offender. That finding means he must be sentenced to life in prison on four of the 10 counts.
McDonald will be formally sentenced on July 16, 2018.
Zahnd encouraged people to visit www.startbybelieving.org for more information on supporting victims of sexual abuse.
The case was investigated by the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, Children’s Division, and the Kansas City Police Department. It was tried by Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Chris Seufert and Blake Sherer.