A pre-trial conference and jury trial for the charge of child molestation in the fourth degree filed against Matthew Dale Forschler, 48, of Thayer earlier this year have been scheduled.

According to documents from the Missouri Court system, pre-trial has been scheduled for Feb. 2, 2022 with a jury trial scheduled fro Feb. 16, 2022.

Forschler was initially facing three counts of child molestation in the fourth degree, a felony in the State of Missouri, however; two of the charges were dropped in July.

The charge follows a series of incidents beginning July of 2017 and according to statements, reoccurring multiple times over the next three years for at least one victim.

The documents state on Feb. 11, 2021, Hanna Smith, a victim advocate with the Oregon County Prosecutor’s Office, contacted Investigator Sargent Stephen Biffle of the Thayer Police Department.

Smith stated on the week of Feb. 3, she had met with a victim regarding the charge against Forschler for a sexual crime.

Smith stated the child had told her she had been a victim of Forschler’s in the past and, more recently, so had another juvenile female.

On multiple occasions, the victim stated Forschler had touched her inappropriately and made inappropriate comments regarding her physical development.

The victim alleged, on more than one occasion, when the victim informed her mother of the incidents, she was told by Forschler he was “just joking”, additionally telling the victims they “don’t take jokes very well”.

The victim stated if it happened again, she would tell someone outside of the family so the incidents would stop.

As indicated by case notes in the report, an open case for the same type of charge was current against Forschler and was open at the time.

Following investigations into the allegations by both the Child Advocacy Center, polygraph tests by the Missouri State Police, and other law enforcement agencies, including the Thayer Police Department, the Oregon County Prosecuting Attorney proceeded with charges.

As a result, Forschler had been charged with three counts of child molestation in the fourth degree, a class E felony in the State of Missouri; however, two of the counts have since been dismissed.

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Lauren is a an award-winning journalist who decided after 10 years of newspaper experience to venture out. Hallmark Times was born.