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Chillicothe man faces numerous child sex and abuse charges spanning over two years

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CHILLICOTHE, Mo. -- A 36-year-old man faces numerous child sex charges against a minor in Livingston County.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Adam Woodworth on Monday. Prosecutors have now charged with him with 17 child sex and abuse charges.

Woodworth was charged Tuesday with six counts of sodomy with a person less than 14 years old, six counts of child molestation, two counts of sexual misconduct involving a child under 15, two counts of abuse or neglect of a child, and one count of sexual trafficking of a child under 18.

According to the probable cause statement, investigators first began looking into allegations of physical abuse against one child, which then led to stories of sexual abuse against another. Woodworth is charged with repeatedly sexually abusing and physically abusing a child between January, 2013 and June of this year.

Court documents state on June 9th a Livingston County sheriff's deputy went to Woodworth's home to investigate allegations involving a six or seven-year-old child.  During the investigation, the deputy said he learned that Woodworth allegedly twisted the child's hair, kicked the child in the side and punished the apparent victim by throwing the child on a couch on the porch or against a chair leg.

Woodworth is also accused of touching the child in a sexual manner on several occasions, allegations the suspect has denied.  When investigators questioned Woodworth, he explained the touching was unintentional. According to the documents, Woodworth told investigators "I never laid a hand on the child or never spanked it."

According to a child advocacy interviewer, one child told her that Woodworth touched inside their body roughly. They also said Woodworth takes off his clothes and invites the child to play with his male parts. The child also described Woodworth using sexual toys and when authorities searched for evidence, they say they seized some toys that corroborate the child's story.

In the probable cause document, authorities say:

  • Woodworth claimed he was scratching poison ivy with the child on his lap and accidentally touched the child.
  • Woodworth claimed there was a time when the child fell into the bathtub onto Woodworth and touched Woodworth's private area.
  • Woodworth told authorities that on one or two occasions while they were playing on his bed, the child landed on Woodworth's face.

On Tuesday, FOX 4’s Robert Townsend traveled near rural Livingston County and visited Adam Woodworth's home, however no one was at the house when he stopped by.

Michelle Reeter, who is the mother of a two-year-old girl, lives down the road from Woodworth in rural Livingston County. She says Woodworth has done work for her father in the past.

"He really is a nice guy. I don't know him personally, but I do know that he and his family they are hard workers.  In fact, Adam used to do farming and mechanical work for my father, " said Reeter.

Reeter said she is stunned to hear that Woodworth is now facing the 17 child sex and abuse charges. She said she hopes the allegations are not true.

"If that's true it's sad, but there are two sides to every story so I just don't know what to believe," said Reeter.

Woodworth is being held in the Daviess-Dekalb Regional Jail, which is about an hour and 15 minutes away from Pattonsburg, Missouri.

The case was investigated by the Livingston County Sheriff's Office. Daviess County Prosecuting Attorney Annie Gibson has been appointed as special prosecutor. A judge in Livingston County filed a motion to be disqualified and transfer the case to the 43rd Judicial Circuit Court.

Bond is set at $500,000 cash only. If met, he's to have no contact with anyone under the age of 18. Livingston County is about an hour and 40 minutes northeast of Kansas City.