Springfield sex offender charged with raping 11-year-old at hospital; molesting 2-year-old

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - A Springfield man charged with sexually abusing two girls was convicted in 2002 of a similar crime involving a 6-year-old for which he spent eight years in prison.

Dave Saffeels, 57, is now at the center of two recent sexual abuse cases.

The first involves an 11-year-old girl who told investigators while she was visiting a woman who had twins at Cox South Health in Springfield, Saffeels raped her twice.

The girl said Saffeels--who was there visiting the same woman-- raped her on a couch when she was left alone with him in a hospital room. The second time happened the next morning when the two were, again, alone in the hospital room, according to the probable cause statement used as the basis of the charges. Both crimes reportedly happened in August.

In the statement, investigators said a third rape happened a few weeks later when the two were at an acquaintance's home. The girl informed investigators she didn't tell anyone because she was too scared, which is not unusual according to professionals who work with victims.

"Children are just so afraid of what has happened to them. And offenders typically use coercion and threats of violence or something could happen to somebody they love, for instance, that it terrifies children to tell and speak up about what's happened," explained Brandi Bartel, executive director of The Victim Center.

In a separate case, Saffeels is charged with sexually abusing a 2-year-old girl earlier this month. The suspect was at the toddler's home--the was mother napping--when the incident occurred, according to the court documents.

The toddler's parents grew suspicious when they tried to remove their daughter's diaper, and she cried out saying "ouch" and "no."

Saffeels who denies all the allegations is in the Greene County Jail on a $500,000 bond. He is charged with three counts of statutory rape, three counts of statutory sodomy and one count of child molestation.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.