JC man found guilty in rape case

An Osage County jury of eight men and four women deliberated for approximately one hour and twenty minutes Wednesday before finding Clifton S. Sparkling, 23, guilty of forcible rape, forcible sodomy, kidnapping, and armed criminal action, following a two-day trial before Judge Jon Beetem in Cole County Circuit Court.

The jury was picked from Osage County to hear the case in Cole County.

According to court officials, the evidence at trial established that, in the early morning hours of June 12, 2010, Sparkling and a co-defendant, Gregory Vowels, took the victim to an abandoned apartment in the 400 block of E. Capitol Ave., where she was raped, sodomized, and assaulted at knifepoint over a period of several hours.

“I am just happy that this verdict ends a terrible chapter for the victim of these crimes,” said Cole County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Anji Gandhi, who tried the case for the State. “The jury had to endure graphic and brutal testimony in this case. They did that difficult job well and justly.”

Vowels previously pleaded guilty and is serving 18 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections on charges of forcible rape, forcible sodomy, felonious restraint, and armed criminal action.

Sentencing in Sparkling’s case will take place Feb. 26 and he will remain in custody.

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