Eldon man sentenced to 12 years in prison

Lake Sun Leader

An Eldon man has been sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to felony First-Degree Statutory Sodomy. According to a press release issued by the Miller County Prosecuting Attorney’s office, Luke A. Lessmeier, 37, admitted to the court that he “knowingly had deviate sexual intercourse” with a child who was less than 12 years old.

A warrant for Lessmeier’s arrest was issued in January 2020 after investigators reviewed a child forensic interview of the female victim.

First-Degree Statutory Sodomy involving a victim less than 12 years old is punishable by no less than 10 years in prison and has no maximum sentence. It is a “Dangerous Felony” as defined by Missouri law which means that a defendant must serve 80 percent of any incarceration before he is eligible for parole, and he is subject to lifetime supervision as a registered sex offender.

Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Winfrey said he is grateful for the hard work of the Miller County Sheriff’s Department and Kids’ Harbor Child Advocacy Council for resolving the case.

“I understand this punishment is not sufficient justice for the Defendant or his Victim, but jury trials in cases like these place enormous pressure and trauma on our children witnesses,” he said in the release.