Wentworth officer pleads guilty in statutory rape case
An officer at Wentworth Military Academy, Randall E. Paton Jr., 27, of Belton, pled guilty and was sentenced to 14 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections Monday, May 19, for the statutory rape of two female academy cadets.
Paton was assigned to work with and counsel the cadets and charges were filed with the Lexington Police Department after it learned of the sexual relationship. Law enforcement discovered Paton also sent inappropriate text messages and nude photos to both victims. The relationships began December 2012 -- concluding April 2013. The victims were 15 and 16 at the time.
Officials at Wentworth learned of the relationships and confronted Paton. Some encounters took place on the Wentworth campus, while others took place at the home of the defendant.
In remarks at the sentencing hearing Lafayette County Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Ellis said Paton should serve 14 years since he had been in a position of authority and was someone the girls looked to for guidance. Paton's attorney sought leniency due to Paton's military career and service. However, 15th Judicial Circuit Judge Dennis Rolf granted the states request for 14 years.