Aurora’s Clayton pleads guilty to sex crimes against children

Steve Chapman

Shannon Clayton

417 Predator Hunters helps nab Law. Co. criminal
An Aurora man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to prison time for committing sexual crimes against four underage girls. Shannon Lee Clayton entered the guilty plea on Monday, Feb. 10.
Clayton, 41, was prosecuted on two separate cases. In the first case, Clayton faced two counts of child molestation and one count of sexual abuse for sexual crimes committed against two underage girls. According to the first probable cause statements in the case, the victim, a female relative who was under the age of 14 at the time of the abuse, reported that on two separate occasions, Clayton had forced her to remove an article of clothing and touched her inappropriately.
According to the second probable cause statement in the case, the second victim, a female relative who was under the age of 17 at the time of the abuse, reported that Clayton forced her to sleep with him on one occasion, during which time he touched her inappropriately. She also said she didn’t move away from him at the time because she was afraid that he would do something worse to her.
Clayton was interviewed about the abuse at the Aurora Police Department in November of 2017. At the time, he denied the accusations against him, stating “he was disgusted at the thought” of touching the girls “and would never do anything like that.”
In the second case, Clayton faced four counts of first-degree sodomy and three counts of first-degree child molestation for offenses committed against two other underage-female relatives.
 In the first probable cause statement in the case, the victim, who was under the age of 12 at the time of the abuse, detailed four instances where Clayton had touched her inappropriately. She said she was about to yell when Clayton became angry and told her to be quiet.
According to the second probable cause statement in the case, the second victim, who was also under the age of 12 at the time of the abuse, reported that Clayton touched her inappropriately on two occasions, both when he was lying on a bed with her.
According to online records, after charges were filed in the first case, Clayton remained free on a $50,000 posted in April of 2018. In the second case, he remained free after posting a $150,000 bond on April of 2019. His bond was revoked, however, in September of 2019, after he was exposed by 417 Predator Hunters as trying to meet a 15-year-old girl in Springfield for sex.
417 Predator Hunters posted the video online; in the video, Clayton can be seen speaking to the members of 417 Predator Hunters. They discussed the messages Clayton exchanged with the “girl” (actually an adult decoy), as well as an inappropriate picture Clayton took of himself and sent to the decoy posing as the girl.
Three days after Clayton’s video was reported to Lawrence County authorities, Clayton’s bond was revoked and he was remanded to the Lawrence County Jail, where he remained until he was transferred to the Missouri Department of Corrections on Thursday, Feb. 13.
Under the terms of the plea agreement in the first case, the two charges of child molestation were dismissed and Clayton was sentenced to seven years in prison on the remaining charge of sexual abuse. It was reported by the Monett Times that Clayton was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the second case, but that could not be immediately confirmed; details of Clayton’s sentencing in that case were not available as of press time.
The Lawrence County Circuit Clerk’s Office reported they were still awaiting amended information on the case from the prosecutor’s office. However, court records showed the sentences in the two cases would run consecutively with each other.
The video in which 417 Predator Hunters exposed Clayton while he was trying to meet an underaged girl can be seen on YouTube on the 417 PH Ace Alliance Against Childhood Exploitation channel, and also at, under the Exposures tab. It is the 11th exposure video on their website.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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