Former deacon pleads guilty to child molestation, sentenced to 5 years probation

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John Stone’s booking photo

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GRANDVIEW, Mo. — The former deacon of a Grandview Baptist church has pleaded guilty to child molestation and will spend the rest of his life as a registered sex offender.

John Stone, 68, was initially charged with four counts of first-degree child molestation last May, after a family living in Grandview reported to police that Stone had sexually assaulted their 10-year-old and 12-year-old in their own home over a period of four months in 2014.

Prosecutors said Stone inappropriately kissed and touched the two little girls after befriending their family at Grandview Baptist Church. The church’s pastor confirmed Stone served as a deacon for decades and helped lead several children’s programs, including Vacation Bible School.

After posting bond, Stone was arrested again for violating a judge’s orders to avoid contact with anyone under the age of 17. A new warrant for his arrest came after a photo was posted to social media that showed Stone standing next to a little girl at his granddaughter’s graduation party.

Stone eventually pleaded guilty to one count of child molestation in mid-December and was sentenced to five years of probation with special conditions: 1) Defendant shall enter sex offender screening and treatment as directed by probation officer; 2) Defendant shall have no contact with specified parties; 3) Defendant shall have no contact with the victims’ immediate family; 4) Defendant must maintain lifetime registration as a sex offender.

After Stone submitted a request to modify the conditions of his probation, a Jackson County judge issued an order on Feb. 1, allowing him to have “unrestricted access to his grandchildren.”

The order also specified that Stone shall be allowed to attend any and all school functions that are related to his grandchildren with prior authorization or approval from the school. He can also attend their extracurricular activities such as dance recitals, music concerts, etc., as long as his wife is with him and his probation officer approves it.

Last summer, Grandview police confirmed more children had come forward, claiming similar inappropriate interactions with Stone. The status of those investigations is unknown at this time.

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