A retired state trooper will not be going to prison on child molestation charges.
James D. Hall, 70, pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge of child endangerment and assault. The plea was entered before Judge James Kelso Journey in Newton County Circuit Court. Local judges had recused themselves in the case, citing previous contact with Hall in a law enforcement capacity.
Hall was sentenced to two years probation and ordered not to have contact with children under the age of 17, with the exception of his own grandchildren. He was also ordered to undergo counseling and training on appropriate behavior with children.
Hall was originally charged with first-degree child molestation, a Class B felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, and misdemeanor assault.
Hall, who served Newton County for more than 30 years as a trooper with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, was arrested a year ago. The charges stemmed from the accusations of two girls, both under the age of 13, who alleged Hall inappropriately touched them. One of the incidents allegedly took place at the trooper's home, while the other allegedly happened during a church Bible study.