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St. Clair, Mo. County man charged with multiple counts of child molestation

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 8:45 PM CST
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OSCEOLA, Mo. (KY3) - An Osceola man is jailed in St. Clair County for sex crimes involving children.

Joseph Machabee, 36, is facing multiple charges, including felony statutory rape and seven counts of felony child molestation.

Machabee worked at a club and tattoo shop in Springfield. However, Machabee lives in Osceola, which is where investigators say the abuse took place. Detectives say police started investigating the abuse at the end of September. Osceola Police Department’s Chief Betty Roth says crimes against children can be challenging to investigate.

”Just kind of breaks your heart,” Chief Roth says. “You wanna tend to reach out and try to help everybody when it comes to the kiddos but that’s not always a task that’s easily done either.”

Chief Roth says any case involving crimes against children takes a lot of time to make sure everything is done properly. Chief Roth says the Children’s Center in Butler, Mo. played a crucial role, making or breaking a case when it comes to interviewing the kids. The chief says that’s because they’re trained professionals that know how to ask age-appropriate questions without re-traumatizing the children.

“If something’s not being covered that needs to be addressed, they have a headset that we can talk to them,” Chief Roth says. “They can’t talk back to us but we can talk to them and they can ask the question in the manner that it needs to be addressed without leading a child into an answer.”

Chief Roth says these types of cases often follow her home at night.

“Any child abuse case is very wearing on an individual, whether it be law enforcement or anyone outside of law enforcement that’s helping with the case,” Chief Roth says.

That’s why Chief Roth says she values the importance of providing mental health resources to families.

“If the family is willing to accept mental health assistance, whether it be counseling or other in that aspect, I always try to cover all my bases to try to get that kiddo back to somewhat of a norm.”

Machabee’s bond is set at $50,000.

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