Plea deal lets convicted sex offender out of jail after just 4 months

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- A convicted sex offender is back on the streets tonight after just four months behind bars.

Joseph Mackey was initially charged with eight counts of sodomy but took a plea deal, admitting guilt to just one of those counts. The details of all the allegations are deeply disturbing, describing patterns of abuse lasting for years.

One mom says the thought of Mackey being a free man now, makes her shudder.

"It’s ridiculous," said parent Carla York.

Last year, Mackey pleaded guilty to one count of sodomy, related to the sexual abuse of a teenage boy. A judge initially recommended five years in prison. Instead, Mackey was offered just four months shock time and then granted parole.

"In my opinion, that just tells men or women that you have a right to sexually molest somebody and just get a slap on the wrist and walk free again," York said.

Mackey worked as a doctor in Blue Springs, volunteering time as a team physician for Blue Springs Schools. He also led a Boy Scout troop. Carla York's son was in that troop and she says early on, she had concerns.

"It was never two-deep leadership with him like Scouts is supposed to be. He liked a lot of one-on-one which kind of got me thinking things weren’t right," said York.

She says Mackey also refused to have female troop leaders and was more "touchy-feely" with boys. A couple times, she suspected he was introducing drugs and alcohol to Scouts at camp.

"Just strange things and when I reported them, everybody’s like, 'Oh No. Joe’s an outstanding man. He’s a physician. He’s an Eagle Scout himself.' So it was kind of like dismissed," said York.

Court records spell out a disturbing pattern of abuse, including giving alcohol to minors before performing sex acts on them, both at his home and in his physician office. One victim told investigators he estimates over 10 years, Mackey abused him up to 200 times.

"To this day I just sit there and I get sick to my stomach when I think about the things that could have happened to my son," York said.

Prosecutors say a short prison term is not unusual in these kinds of case, but do often invoke public concern.

York says the thought of Mackey being out of prison makes her cringe and she worries he's still a danger. Her takeaway is to never second-guess anything that seems off with an adult in your child's life.

"I can guarantee you if I see something that isn’t right, doesn’t sound, look, or feel right, I’m not going to someone above that person, I’m going to call the police. I’m going to make sure it’s investigated. It will never happen again," said York.

Mackey will be forced to register as a sex offender and has three days to tell the state where he's living. A judge denied Mackey's request to live with his wife and kids.

His release conditions also specify he cannot have contact with the victims or their families. He is not allowed to live with any minors, or have unsupervised contact with minors. Mackey cannot obtain employment or do volunteer work involving minors.

Back in October, one of the victims also won a major lawsuit against Joseph Mackey. Mackey was ordered to pay $120 million for that victim's pain and suffering.