A man who sexually abused a Platte County girl beginning when she was five years old has been sentenced to 260 years in prison. Robert E. McDonald, 49, of Coushatta, Louisiana, received the sentence on July 26 after being found guilty by a jury of ten felony sex crimes in May. McDonald’s sentence is longer than disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar’s prison sentence.
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “This defendant will die where he should—in prison. The girl he raped must live with what he did to her for the rest of her life, but at least she can take solace that he will never hurt her or any other child ever again.”
On the day after Christmas 2012, the victim disclosed that, when she was between the ages of five- and seven-years-old, McDonald repeatedly sexually abused and raped her.
A medical examination of the victim revealed physical indications consistent with sexual abuse. The victim’s sister testified that the defendant had also touched her in a sexual way.
At the prosecution’s urging, the jury found the defendant to be a predatory sexual offender based on both girls’ testimony.
McDonald was convicted of three counts of first degree statutory rape, two counts of first degree statutory sodomy, and five additional sex crimes. Four of McDonald’s sentences are life sentences with no eligibility for parole until he serves 50 years in prison. Judge Thomas Fincham ordered McDonald’s sentences to run consecutively, resulting in a total prison sentence of 260 years.
McDonald’s sentence eclipses the sentence of former Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, who was accused of sexually abusing as many as 265 girls. If Nassar served his maximum sentence, he would serve 235 years.
Zahnd said, “Many child sex offenses are so abhorrent that they should result in the predator never walking out of prison. Judge Fincham’s sentence sends the clear message that, in Platte County, we will not tolerate these hideous crimes.”
The case was investigated by the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, Children’s Division, and the Kansas City Police Department. It was tried by Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Chris Seufert and Blake Sherer.