Area man charged with sexual misconduct

A California, Mo., man has been charged with sexual misconduct after an incident with a juvenile under the age of 15.

The crime is a Class D felony and, if convicted, Larry Stewart, 25, could be sentenced to up to four years in prison.

A Cole County Sheriff’s probable cause statement said the crime occurred in November 2011, while Stewart and a girl, 4, were watching television.

The statement said he told the girl not to tell her mother. Investigators said the girl heeded that warning until July 3.

Investigators, including a sheriff’s deputy and a state Family Support Division worker, said the victim told them that Stewart had exposed himself to the girl, then asked her to touch his private parts.

The sheriff’s statement said the girl repeated that story during a forensic interview conducted at the Rainbow House in Columbia.

Stewart was arrested after he was interviewed last month.

The charge was filed Friday.

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