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Joplin man to spend life in prison for child molestation

Jasper County Circuit Judge Dean Dankelson gives Blaine Downum, 30, life in prison without parole plus 60 years. A jury found him guilty on several charges for sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl.

Investigators say the crime happened on February 25th, 2018. The girl told police that she was at a place where Downum was also staying when he raped her, according to court documents.

A few months later, Joplin police saw Downum at Leonard Park (4th and Turk Ave) and tried to talk to him and tell him he was under arrest. Authorities say Downum turned and ran. Police later arrested him with the help of a K9.

While at the jail, officers found a loaded gun on Downum, who had been convicted of a felony in 2014 for receiving stolen property.

The Prosecutor's Office filed the following charges against Downum: 
   Child Molestation - 1st Degree
   Statutory Rape or Attempted Statutory Rape - 1st Degree - Person Less Than 12 Yoa
   Resisting/Interfering With Arrest For A Felony
   Unlawful Possession Of A Firearm

After a two day trial in March, a jury found Downum guilty on all charges.

On April 18, 2019, a judge sentenced him for each charge. Downum received life in prison for child molestation, 50 years for statutory rape, 7 years for resisting arrest and 10 years for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Judge Dankelson ordered Downum to serve the life and 50 year sentences at the same time, followed by ten years for the other two sentences.


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