A charge of rape against Paul S. Epling, 54, a deacon of Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church, near Powell, was withdrawn because the statute of limitations had expired, according to McDonald County Prosecutor Janice Durbin.
The alleged victim is a 35-year-old woman who claimed that Epling forced sexual intercourse on her when she was 6.
Epling originally faced two counts of first-degree statutory rape and five counts of first-degree statutory sodomy in connection with alleged sexual acts involving that girl and a second one between 1976 and 1983. Statute-of-limitations issues caused prosecutors to drop those charges over the past year.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Charges dropped against alleged McDonald County cult member
KOAM reported earlier this evening and the Joplin Globe has posted a story on the dropping of charges against Paul Epling one of four members of an alleged McDonald County religious cult accused of ritual sex crimes against children: