Dixon man faces up to 44 years after last-minute guilty plea

1 year 11 months 4 weeks ago Wednesday, July 11 2018 Jul 11, 2018 Wednesday, July 11, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT July 11, 2018 in News
By: Naomi Klinge, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

PHELPS COUNTY - A man charged with first-degree child molestation and two counts of second-degree statutory rape entered a last-minute guilty plea on Wednesday.

Robert "BJ" Branson, 38, was originally charged in 2011 when an 11-year-old victim reported years of abuse. The victim recanted her accusations in 2012, saying her aunt had put her up to it.

In 2016, the same victim ran away from Branson while at the grocery store, and told Dixon Police he had been sexually assaulting her since she was a child.

She said Branson had forced her to recant years prior, because he said it would cause problems for her mother and her younger brothers would end up in foster care.

Detective Neil Boshoff recovered a pair of jean shorts that tested positive for both DNA from the victim and Branson's semen.

Branson faces up to 44 years in prison, and his sentencing will take place on Sept. 7 at 10:30 a.m.

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