Mark Christopher Kennedy, 43, was free on bond while awaiting a July 31 sentencing after entering an Alford plea to a charge of statutory sodomy when the Carthage Police Department arrested him. (An Alford plea means Kennedy is not pleading guilty, but acknowledging that there enough evidence to convict him.)
The allegations are spelled out in a probable cause affidavit written by Det. Lt. Jeff Steffen:
On 6/6/2017 at about 1127 hours, Mark Kennedy contacted (names redacted) while playing in a children's pool in the front yard of (home on 100 block of Elk). Mark was driving by in his van and stopped in front of the house. He called the children over to his van while offering them candy to entice them over. A parent overheard the children and stopped the children from going over there.
Even after being told not to go to the van, Mark continued to try to entice the children. When the male resident of the house walked outside, Mark left the area.
He was soon contacted by Officer Greenstreet. With consent, Officer Greenstreet searched the vehicle and did not locate candy that was offered to the children.
Kennedy's Alford plea stems from an incident that occurred with a 10-year-old Carthage girl. From the probable cause affidavit:
On 11/26/2014, it was reported that at 1923 Wynwood Street, Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri on 11/2/2014 Mark Christopher Kennedy had deviate sexual intercourse with a 10-year-old female. Kennedy placed his fingers inside (the girl's) vagina, as well as touched her breast and buttocks while she slept on a couch in her residence.
When this happened, (the girl) said she was "shocked" and "scared". This happened on more than one occasion over a one-week period. Kennedy was a next door neighbor and landlord of the apartment (the girl) and her family resided in. Kennedy had been allowed access to the residence via unlocked front entry door to awake (the girl's) mother and mother's boyfriend for work in the early morning hours. Upon entering the residence, Kennedy would sexually touch (the girl) prior to waking the rest of the family.
Kennedy admitted to having access to the residence via unlocked front entry door. Kennedy admitted to being in the residence and observing (the girl) asleep on the couch.
Two computers were located in Kennedy's residence. Upon a consent search on 11/26/2014, the web browser history of the computer showed internet addresses for what appeared to be child pornography websites.
After Kennedy's arrest on the 2014 charge, police discovered an earlier instance in which Kennedy allegedly molested another underage female at his rental property, as well as other locations and he was charged once again with statutory sodomy.
From the probable cause affidavit:
On 8/3/2015, (a girl) and (her mother) made a report to the Carthage Police of statutory sodomy that occurred approximately four years ago at 1923 Wynwood, Carthage, 1111 W. Central, Carthage, and an unknown address near Clinton Street, Carthage. (The girl) was eight years old at the time. The assailant was Mark Kennedy, who was the landlord and neighbor of (the girl) and her family. (The girl) described several incidents that happened to her.
One occurred at McDonald's in his truck, when he allegedly pulled her pants down and looked at her vagina.
Another incident, according to the affidavit, took place in Kennedy's apartment. (The girl) fell asleep and awakened to Kennedy pulling her pants down and licking her.
The affidavit describes two other incidents, including one in which Kennedy had the girl touch his penis.
Initially, bond was set at $1 million cash only, but Judge Gayle Crane revoked Kennedy's bond during a hearing today in Jasper County Circuit Court.