Probation, not prison, for Camden County man found guilty on child molestation charges

CAMDENTON, Mo. -- Robie Nalley was facing 22 years behind bars. He's now on five years probation.

"The nature of this crime is so heinous, he deserved to spend time in the Department of Corrections," said Heather Miller, Camden County Prosecuting Attorney.

A jury found Nalley guilty of statutory sodomy and child molestation in April, charges that could’ve led to more than two decades in prison.

The case stems from a 2017 call to a Macks Creek home for the report of a girl being sexually assaulted. It turns out Nalley was abusing two 14-year-old girls.

Despite a guilty verdict, Nalley received a much lighter sentence last week.

"The gap of what we asked for, and of course no prison time, just leaves us shaking our heads," Miller said.

Miller asked for 22 years in prison, seven years on the sodomy charge, and 12 for child molestation, but judge Kenneth Hayden chose probation instead.

Miller admits Nalley isn't exactly a free man, even though he’s not behind bars.

"He'll have to undergo testing, he'll be supervised as a sex offender. He'll have to go through treatment, and he'll have to successfully complete those conditions of probation. It's not just 'don't get back in trouble,'" Miller explained.

Still, Miller worries when sex offenders face prison sentences, but only get probation, victims may think it’s not worth reporting crimes.

"Silence is never the best answer," Miller said. "We will work with you to make sure justice is achieved. Sometimes, justice takes forms that we don't expect. Sometimes it's not always a lengthy sentence in the department of corrections."

Miller is hoping that won't be the trend moving forward, knowing her job depends on victims seeking justice.

"If they have the courage to come forward that we will work with them to make sure that one, this doesn't happen to them anymore, and to stop it from happening to others," Miller said.

Earlier this week, KY3/KSPR's Andrew Havranek called Judge Kenneth Hayden, and sent a text message asking why he suspended the prison sentence against Nalley. As of this story's publication, those messages have not been returned.

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