Ozark man to stand trial in rape of teen in Mount Vernon

·2 min read

Sep. 18—MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — A 26-year-old man on Thursday was ordered to stand trial on charges that he raped a 15-year-old girl and endangered three other juveniles by forcing them to drink alcohol and eat THC-laden gummies.

Jordan R. Bekemeier, of Ozark, waived a preliminary hearing in Lawrence County Circuit Court on two counts of first-degree rape, single counts of unlawful use of a weapon and felony child endangerment, and four counts of tampering with victims in a felony prosecution. Associate Judge Matthew Kasper set the defendant's initial appearance in a trial division of the court for Oct. 13.

According to a probable-cause affidavit, Bekemeier was put in charge June 4 of watching four juveniles in Mount Vernon while their parents were out of town. The juveniles later reported that he forced them to drink alcohol and eat leaf-shaped gummies and forced one of them, 15-year-old girl, to have sex with him.

In an interview at a child advocacy center, the girl told investigators that the defendant had her drink Mike's Hard Lemonade before giving her edible gummies and shots to drink and that she eventually blacked out on a couch. She could recall regaining consciousness enough to notice Bekemeier getting undressed and later noticed him getting up off her, according to the affidavit.

The next day, he again forced sexual intercourse with her, she told investigators.

The other juveniles told investigators that Bekemeier was wearing "a police belt" — with a gun, Mace and handcuffs — while in charge of them, and told them he would pepper-spray them if they did not drink the alcohol he gave them. They said he also threatened to shoot them if they told anyone about it and that he pointed the gun at one of them and pulled the trigger, but nothing happened.

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