Former sheriff’s office employee arrested in sex case

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 6:55 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 27, 2021 at 12:52 PM CST
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WEST PLAINS, Mo. (KAIT) - A now-former Howell County Sheriff’s Office employee is facing a statutory sodomy charge after his arrest by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, investigators said Friday.

Rob R. Pilkington, 53, of West Plains was arrested after an investigation by the MSHP.

Details about the investigation were not released Friday.

However, the Howell County Sheriff’s Office released a statement earlier Friday about the case.

“On November 24, 2021 at approximately 2230 hrs., the Howell County Sheriff’s Office received allegations of an employee committing acts of moral turpitude and a sexual offense. Immediately upon receiving such allegations and to ensure a fair and impartial inquiry was conducted, the allegations were forwarded to the Missouri Department of Social Services on November 25, 2021 at approximately 0100 hrs and the Missouri State Highway Patrol on November 25, 2021 at approximately 0900 hrs,” the statement said.

The statement also noted that Pilkington was given a notice of termination with the department.

Pilkington was arrested on suspicion of statutory sodomy in the first degree (victim less than 14 years old).

According to Sgt. Jeffery Kinder with the MSHP, Pilkington was being held in the Douglas County in Ava on a $100,000 cash/surety bond.

The West Plains School District also released a statement Friday about the case.

It reads in full:

“On Thursday, November 25, 2021, West Plains School District administrators received a report that the South Fork Elementary school resource officer, contracted through the Howell County Sheriff’s Office, had alleged inappropriate conduct with a student. This incident allegedly occurred recently, outside the workday, and did not involve a South Fork student. Although the West Plains School District cannot provide specific information regarding any student or personnel matter, we can confirm that the district does not tolerate such misconduct and that standard procedure upon receiving this type of report is to immediately place the employee on leave pending completion of an investigation and, if appropriate, to secure the employee’s separation from the district. The district also uniformly and immediately reports such allegations to the appropriate authorities,” Superintendent Lori Wilson said in the statement.

“The West Plains School District can confirm that it is currently cooperating in an investigation with the local law enforcement regarding a contracted employee, and that the investigation has not been completed. The district will continue to follow its normal practice and procedure in cooperating with authorities during the investigation. Once the investigation has been completed, the local authorities will disclose any additional information that may be appropriate and permitted or required by law. Further inquiries should be directed to the Howell County Sheriff’s Department. The West Plains School District’s first and most important priority is to provide the best education possible for our students. However, this cannot be accomplished without a safe and secure educational environment. Therefore, students and parents should be assured that the district has strict policies and regulations prohibiting inappropriate conduct toward students, provides continuing training and monitoring regarding such policies, and always takes prompt and appropriate action upon receiving reports of any violation of those policies. Accordingly, all investigations and decisions, whether involving the current matter or any other, have been and will be made with the best interests of our students as the first priority.”

Thank you,

Dr. Lori Wilson

Superintendent of Schools

West Plains School District

Region 8 News will have more details as they become available.

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