A Lake Ozark man will spend ten years in prison after he entered a guilty plea for child molestation.
Thomas E. Clabough, 51, was sentenced Tuesday afternoon by Senior Judge Ralph Jaynes at the Miller County Courthouse. A jury trial had been scheduled to commence Wednesday morning, but that was stricken when Clabough pleaded guilty.
Clabough was charged with subjecting a 9-year-old girl to sexual contact by inappropriate touching during the summer of 2012. Officers with the Lake Ozark Police Department conducted an investigation and arrested Clabough in Lake Ozark on Oct. 30, 2012, one day following the report of the incident from the girl’s family. Lake Ozark Police were assisted by the Missouri Division of Social Services Children’s Division which co-investigated the case in coordination with Kids' Harbor, a Lake of the Ozarks area Child Advocacy Center.
The ten-year sentence was assessed according to a plea agreement announced to the court by Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Howard, whose office had filed charges against Clabough upon his arrest. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the court denied any chance of probation and ordered the defendant committed immediately to the Department of Corrections. Clabough had been held in custody at the Miller County Jail since the time of his arrest.
“Cases involving sexual abuse of young children are always challenging, but in this case, law enforcement and their allied professionals very quickly and competently put together a case from which a good measure of justice has been obtained, while being able to spare this little girl and her family from having to testify and be subjected to going through a trial,” Howard said.
Under Missouri law, Clabough must register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life with electronic GPS location monitoring by corrections officials.