Shoemaker gets life behind bars for sodomy

Steve Chapman

Lawrence County resident will most likely die in prison following sentencing
If James J. Shoemaker had any hopes that he would live free again some-­ day, they were dashed on Friday, April 5, when Judge David Cole sentenced him to two consecutive life prison sentences for two counts forcible sodomy.
Shoemaker, 54, was found guilty of the charges at the Lawrence County Justice Center on Thursday, Feb. 29 after a jury trial. His attorney, Glenn Huggins, argued that Shoemaker should have received a new trial on the grounds that Cole had erred in permitting certain evidence to be used against Shoemaker at trial, including his previous conviction in Greene County and permitting testimony from the victim about events 14 years after they had occurred. Huggins also argued that the state had failed to make their case, so Cole should have given Shoemaker a judgement of acquittal. Cole overrrode the defense’s request at Shoemaker’s sentencing hearing.
Facts of the case
At the time of Shoemaker’s trial, conviction and sentencing for his crimes in Lawrence County, he had already been serving time for sex crimes he committed in Greene County. According to the probable cause statement in the case, the victim stated Shoemaker had forced her to commit several sex acts from 2004 to 2014, about the time she was five to 14. She said that when the family lived in Springfield, Shoemaker would force her to touch him inappropriately and would strike her if she pulled away from him. The girl estimated that she performed “30 to 50ish” acts on Shoemaker while they lived in Greene County.
The girl said she hadn’t told anyone because Shoemaker threatened to kill her and her family if she did. She also said that if she tried to refuse to perform acts on him, he threatened to sexually abuse another family member or withhold food from her.
In the second probable cause statement, the victim, a juvenile male, said between November of 2018 and June of 2019, while they had been living in Brookline, that Shoemaker had abused him. He said that it began with Shoemaker forcing the boy to watch pornography with him when the boy was only 10. He also said Shoemaker forced him to perform “massages” on him (Shoemaker), which would involve the boy being forced to touch Shoemaker inappropriately, and that on occasion, Shoemaker “slammed him into a wall, hit him with a cane and slapped him in the face ‘really hard’” when he did something Shoemaker didn’t like.
The boy also said he wanted to attend school but wasn't allowed to, and was homeschooled by his mother, but estimated he was "two grades behind" where he should be. He also said Shoemaker would force him to undergo a "mono diet" where he would only be allowed to eat one kind of food at every meal for a week (i.e. potatoes) and only allowed to drink water. Shoemaker, the boy said, also threatened to kill the boy's Guinea pig because he hadn't cleaned his room.
Shoemaker already serving time
Shoemaker was charged in July of 2019 in Greene County with three counts of first degree statutory sodomy,  two counts of second degree statutory sodomy, one count of child enticement, one count of abuse or neglect of a child and one count of furnishing pornography to a minor. in July of 2020, he made an Alford Plea to one count of first degree sodomy, for which he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and one count of second degree sodomy, for which he got four years, with the sentences to be served concurrently. The other charges in Greene County were dismissed.
Shoemaker was already serving the sentence for the Greene County conviction in Licking; he was brought to Lawrence County for the sentencing hearing on Thursday, April 4, and returned to Licking on April 5.


Lawrence County Record

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Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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