It appears a local child molestation case is tied to a larger sex trafficking case in Missouri though details regarding the connection are unclear at this time.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley along with Camden County Prosecutor Heather Miller announced Thursday that Dustin R. Thomas, 23, of Osage Beach had been sentenced to 14 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to three counts of second degree statutory rape, two counts of second degree statutory sodomy and two counts of fourth degree child molestation. Thomas’ victims were both 15 years old at the time of the offense, according to the press release.

Missouri indicates the dates of the crimes occurred in May 2017 and September 2017.

This conviction is part of a broader, ongoing investigation into sex trafficking in Missouri, the press release stated, but gave no details of that overall investigation or how Thomas’ case relates to it.

“There is no place for sex trafficking in Missouri,” Hawley said. “Those who take advantage of vulnerable citizens will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I am grateful to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office for their work on this case.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Caleb J. Aponte assisting the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney J. Caleb Cunningham. The case was investigated by the Osage Beach Police Department, Camdenton Police Department, and the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office Human Trafficking Enforcement Unit, and Kids’ Harbor Inc. 

“My Office is thankful to be able to work hand-in-hand with the Attorney General’s Office to bring justice to a multiple victim sex offender who preyed upon the young in our community,” Miller said.