Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Fourth Division
from the Circuit Court of Saline County, Missouri The
Honorable Dennis A. Rolf, Judge.
Alok Ahuja, Presiding Judge, Gary D. Witt, Judge and Anthony
Rex Gabbert, Judge
D. Witt, Judge
Renfrow appeals his convictions for felony forcible rape
under § 566.030, RSMo,  and misdemeanor second-degree
child molestation under § 566.068, RSMo. Renfrow argues
that the circuit court plainly erred in permitting his
probation officer to testify to incriminatory statements
Renfrow had made, in violation of § 559.125.2, RSMo.
Renfrow also argues that his conviction for second-degree
child molestation should be reversed, because § 566.068
should be interpreted to only apply to offenders who are 21
years of age or older. We affirm.
was convicted of forcible rape, an unclassified felony under
§ 566.030 RSMo, and second-degree child molestation, a
misdemeanor under § 566.068 RSMo, following a bench
trial in the Circuit Court of Saline County. The circuit court
sentenced Renfrow to a twenty-five year term of imprisonment
on the forcible rape conviction, and to a one-year term for
child molestation, with the sentences to run concurrently.
convictions arose out of incidents in 2013 involving a
15-year-old female victim. Renfrow was 18 years old at the time of
the incidents in question.
to the evidence at trial, Renfrow encountered the victim
outside a high-school football game in Marshall in 2013.
Renfrow and the victim had previously dated. Renfrow called
to the victim. After she approached and spoke to him, he led
her to an area behind a grocery store. Renfrow forced the
victim to lie down on the ramp of the grocery store's
loading dock. Renfrow then proceeded to partially remove the
victim's clothes and engaged in sexual intercourse with
the victim against her will. Renfrow had his hand around the
victim's throat during the incident, and at some point
the victim lost consciousness. Renfrow fled the scene before
regaining consciousness the victim returned to the football
game, where witnesses saw that she was in distress. The
victim reported what had happened to emergency medical
personnel who were stationed at the game. She was taken to
the hospital, where a sexual assault examination was
conducted. The nurse conducting the examination found genital
trauma inconsistent with consensual sex. The Highway Patrol
Crime Lab tested samples collected during the victim's
sexual assault examination. A sample collected from the
victim's genital area was consistent with semen. A DNA
analyst testified that the genetic profile of this sample was
consistent with Renfrow's profile, with an approximate
frequency of one in 1.314 trillion in the Caucasian
population, and one in 96.71 trillion in the African-American
the trial, the Court heard testimony from the victim,
witnesses from the football game, police, and medical
personnel. The Court also heard testimony from Renfrow's
probation officer, Lauren Bartlett. Bartlett testified
regarding a conversation she had with Renfrow regarding the
incident, as well as about Renfrow's previous
relationship with the victim. According to Bartlett, Renfrow
was initially inconsistent regarding his whereabouts on the
day the rape occurred, but ultimately admitted that he
"probably had [had sex with the victim], but he
couldn't remember" due to certain drugs he had been
taking. Renfrow later told Bartlett that the victim had
"stalked" him, and that she instigated their sexual
encounter at the football game.
also testified that Renfrow "stated he believed that
they had had sex twice when they dated, " which the
victim testified was between October 2012 and February 2013.
This prior consensual sexual relationship was the basis for
the misdemeanor second-degree child molestation charge based
on the victim's age at the time. Following his conviction
and sentencing, Renfrow filed this appeal.
first Point, Renfrow claims that his conviction for forcible
rape should be reversed, because "the trial court
plainly erred in allowing [his] probation officer to
testify regarding statements [he] made to her, " in
violation of § 559.125.2, RSMo. (emphasis added).
Appellant concedes that he did not preserve this claim of
error for appellate review and requests this Court to engage
in plain error review. Under plain error review, the
defendant must show that an evident, obvious, and clear error
affected a substantial right resulting in manifest injustice
or a miscarriage of justice. Rule 30.20. It is the
defendant's burden to demonstrate plain error.
State v. Williams, 427 S.W.3d 259, 266-67 (Mo. App.
E.D. 2014) (citation and footnote omitted).
Information and data obtained by a probation or parole
officer shall be privileged information and shall not be
receivable in any court. Such information shall not be
disclosed directly or indirectly to anyone other than the
members of a parole board and the judge entitled to receive
reports, except the court or the board may in its discretion
permit the inspection of the report, or parts of such report,
by the defendant, or offender or his attorney, or other
person having a proper interest therein.
explained the purpose and operation of § 559.125.2 in
Richardson v. Sherwood, 337 S.W.3d 58 (Mo.
App. W.D. 2011):
We see no argument that the statute does not mean exactly
what it says, which is that "such information"
shall not be disclosed to anyone other than the
named individuals. . . . [¶] The purpose of the statute
is that the probationer know that information learned by the
probation officer will be held in confidence, subject only to
specific exceptions. Information obtained by the probation
officer is to be regarded as privileged information, and
"shall not be disclosed directly or indirectly to
anyone other than the members of a parole board and the
judge entitled to receive such reports . . . ." [¶]
The statute does not authorize discretion.
Id. at 65 (citation omitted).
Richardson, we held that a probation officer had
violated § 559.125.2 when she disclosed that a
probationer was using crack ...