WEBSTER COUNTY, Mo. — Webster County deputies recently arrested at least eight people involved in separate sex crimes against children cases or other felony crimes against children.
The Webster County Sheriff’s Office says several others could be charged. Most of the arrests were on the south side of Webster County.
Those charged are:
The images above are in order of the bullet list of men charged.
- Joey Rippee – two counts of first-degree statutory rape with a person younger than 14 and two counts of statutory sodomy
- Collyn Rippee – Three counts of statutory sodomy
- Jeremy Russell – Four counts of first-degree statutory rape
- Bobby Smith – One count of statutory sodomy
- Alan Gilliam – Five counts of second-degree statutory rape
- Chance Raubs – Two counts of abuse or neglect of a child, no sexual contact
- Joseph Hardy – Three counts of second-degree statutory sodomy and one count of second-degree statutory rape
Rippee, Russell, and Gilliam Investigation
The Rippees (court documents identify them as brothers) Russell and Gilliam are all part of the same investigation. Probable cause statements for each person identify numerous sexual encounters with a girl when she was between the ages of 12-17. The victim is almost 18 now. Court documents say she went to the Webster County Sheriff’s Office on October 22 with new details she had recently remembered after attending therapy.
Another man mentioned in this investigation, Terry Rippee, the father of Joey and Collyn, is in CaseNet charged with one count of sexual misconduct involving a child under 15 and eight counts of statutory sodomy.
Court documents detail one instance where the female told investigators that Joey and Terry took turns with the victim in their trailer.
Court documents say the victim came forward at this time because she did not want anyone else to get hurt and she wanted to come forward to tell everything because she was getting sick, and feeling bad for holding some of the things back.
Court records say Gillam appeared in court on November 9 and does not have an attorney. Collyn Rippe, Joey Rippee, and Jeremy Russell will appear in court on November 23. Terry Rippee will have a hearing on December 7.
Bobby Smith Investigation
In March, a woman and her daughter came to the Webster County Sheriff’s Office to talk about sexual misconduct Smith had with the victim. The victim told investigators the incidents happened in 2017 when the victim lived with Smith in Seymour. Court documents say the mother and her kids lived with Smith and his wife while she was separating from her husband.
In a later interview, the victim told investigators of several instances when Smith touched her inappropriately while she was living there four years ago.
On October 23, investigators took Smith into custody and talked to him at the Sheriff’s Office. Court documents say during the interview, Smith denied ever sexually touching the victim.
Smith was asked about an instance when he told the victim to take off her shirt, and he said he did not recall doing it.
“Bobby did state he may have said it to her jokingly. Bobby goes on to say he may have talked about her boobies because that is what young girls do because they talk about them,” the PC statement says.
The interview ended when investigators asked if Smith and the victim ever tickled and if his hands could have gone down her pants, Smith said that, yes, they did play like that.
Smith was in court on November 9 where a judge set a hearing for December 21 at 8:30 a.m.
Chance Raubs Investigation
22-year-old Chance Raubs has been charged with 2 counts of child abuse.
According to the PC statement, Raubs told the mother of the child that spanking was no longer working, and he had resorted to using a plastic hanger to spank him.
He also told her that he would make the child stand under cold water until he is “blue or until he figures out his lesson” when he defecates in his diaper.
When it is not cold outside, Raubs said he would use the garden hose to spray water in the child’s face as a punishment if he tried to leave time out.
Photographs, taken during a physical examination of the child at the Child Advocacy Center, show bruising on the child’s legs, buttocks, and face.
After Raubs was arrested, he admitted to hitting the child with a plastic hanger twice but denied hitting him any other times.
Raubs also claimed to have put the boy’s hand in cold water when he wet his pants and said he used cold water to wash him. Court documents say a warrant has been issued for Raubs.
Joseph Hardy Investigation
26-year-old Joseph Hardy has been charged with three counts of second-degree sodomy and one count of second-degree statutory rape.
On October 28th, officers were dispatched to a scene where a woman reported a juvenile had been sexually assaulted and the perpetrator was also at the scene.
Officers searched the area, but Hardy had walked off into the woods.
The juvenile was not at the scene, but at a friend’s house.
The juvenile, a 16-year-old, was later interviewed and confirmed that Hardy had touched her inappropriately in her bed at about 2 a.m.
Hardy later turned himself in at the Sheriff’s Office. At first, he claimed to have had no sexual contact with the teenager.
After further questioning, Hardy admitted that he thought the interactions were consensual, his report of events differing from the teenager’s.
Hardy is being held at the Webster County Sheriff’s Office on a $150,000 bond. Hardy was in court on November 9 where a judge set a preliminary hearing for December 21 at 2 p.m.