A man from Republic, who was found guilty of attempted rape in 2015, was sentenced to four years in prison but is eligible for early release and placed on probation after 4 months.
Greene County prosecutors say Christopher Muller was stopped by three witnesses when they heard a woman screaming on the Greenway Trails.
All three of them say Muller was mounted on top of the victim and that he was wearing only his boxers.
(Information provided by the Greene County Prosecutor's Office)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson announces that Christopher Robert Muller, 25, of Republic, Missouri was sentenced on Friday, 06/29/18, to four years in the Missouri Department of Correction for his conviction for attempted statutory rape in the second degree. The Court sentenced the defendant pursuant to RSMo §559.115, the Sex Offender Assessment Unit, and is eligible to be released from prison and placed on probation after four months.
At trial the three witnesses, Kohler, Armstrong, and Stapp, testified that they were walking the Greenway Trails on the evening of July 2, 2015, when they heard a woman screaming. The three men followed the sounds of the scream and located the defendant and the victim in a secluded area off to the side of the trail. All three witnesses testified that the defendant was mounted on top of the victim, the defendant was wearing only his boxers, the defendant was holding the victim’s arms down, and the victim was crying. At trial, Kohler specifically testified that what he saw was “not consensual” and that is why he and his friends acted immediately. Kohler tackled the defendant off the victim and physically restrained the defendant on the ground. Kohler further testified that he had to strike the defendant several times and physically pin the defendant to the ground because the defendant kept trying to get away. Armstrong called 911, found the defendant’s identification, and assisted Kohler with detaining the defendant. Stapp went to help the victim and attempted to keep her calm and conscious until help arrived. Shortly after the three witnesses intervened, the victim lapsed into unconsciousness and was taken to the hospital where she was placed in a medically induced coma due to a drug overdose. Prior to July 2, 2015, none of the three young men knew either the victim or the defendant and, yet, all intervened to stop the sexual assault. Subject: Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Press Release, State v. Muller, 1531-CR03991-01
At the time of this offense, the defendant was on felony probation for four counts of forgery. His other convictions included municipal convictions for stealing, property damage, driving while intoxicated, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
At sentencing, the State requested the defendant be sentenced to four years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, without the possibility of probation or release, for the conviction for the attempted statutory rape in the second degree. The State requested that the defendant be sentenced to seven years on the forgery convictions, consecutive to the sentence on the sex offense, for a total of eleven years. The State emphasized that the defendant was on felony probation at the time of this offense and had committed two other criminal offenses during his time on probation including driving while intoxicated. The State argued that this indicated that the defendant would not obey any directives of the court or probation and had engaged in a pattern of behavior that demonstrated that the defendant did not believe he would face any significant consequences for his action. The State noted that the defendant has failed to take any responsibility for his offense and had made several statements where he made himself out to be the victim in this case. Specifically, the defendant said, about this incident, “I feel like I was used as a ride. My kindness was taken advantage of. I had no intentions of touching the girl. I didn’t know who she was until this day.” Furthermore, the State discussed the stress on the victim and her struggle with accepting what happened to her. Finally, the State argued that the defendant was a continued danger to the community based on his conviction for attempted to rape a minor child and his continued engagement in dangerous crimes like driving while intoxicated.
The defendant continued to maintain his innocence and again argued that he was framed for the attempted sexual assault. His attorney argued that the defendant was naïve and unsophisticated and should not receive a severe prison sentence. Judge Holden sentenced the defendant to four years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for the conviction for attempted statutory rape in the second degree, but sentenced him to the Sex Offenders Assessment Unit pursuant to RSMo §559.115.
Judge Holden sentenced the defendant to five years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for the convictions for forgery, also pursuant to RSMo §559.115. All the sentences were to run concurrent to each other. This means that the defendant could be released to probation within four months, if determined appropriate for release by the Missouri Department of Corrections. The defendant will have to register as a sex offender as a result of his conviction for attempted statutory rape in the second degree.