ST. FRANCOIS COUNTY, Mo. – A Park Hills, Missouri, couple is facing charges tied to accusations of neglect and physical and sexual abuse of children dating back more than a decade.
Last month, a St. Francois County grand jury approved a superseding indictment charging Jeff and Tammi Sawtelle with multiple felonies. Both were initially indicted in March and April 2022, respectively, but a spokeswoman for the county prosecutor’s office said more victims came forward, and new charges were added.
The crimes occurred between January 2010 and December 2021, according to the indictment. And nearly all the incidents happened in the couple’s home.
Jeff Sawtelle, 55, was charged with six counts of first-degree child molestation, five counts of first-degree statutory sodomy, three counts of forcible rape, one count of first-degree statutory rape or attempted rape of a person less than 12 years of age, one count of second-degree child molestation, one count of first-degree assault – serious physical injury or special victim, one count of first-degree sexual misconduct, one count of third-degree child molestation of a person less than 14 years of age, one count of endangering the welfare of a child, one count of abuse or neglect of a child not involving sexual contact, and one count of abuse or neglect of a child involving sexual contact.
Prosecutors charged Tammi Sawtelle, 56, with three different counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, one count of first-degree assault – serious physical injury or special victim, five different counts of abuse or neglect of a child not involving sexual contact, and one count of abuse or neglect of a child involving sexual contact.
Jeff Sawtelle is due in court for a pre-trial hearing on Jan. 12. Tammi Sawtelle will be in court on Jan. 27 for her own pre-trial hearing.