The attorney for Gerald James Howard has filed a motion to dismiss the child sex charges against him. The hearing for this proposal was held on October 31 at the Cooper County Circuit Court and took almost five hours.
The hearing was on a motion to dismiss which was filed by Howard's attorneys in July of this year. Originally set to be heard in August, the hearing date was moved to Oct. 31 due to a four week civil trial scheduled at the same time.
According to court documents, Howard, who was a former pastor at the Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Boonville, is accused of committing forcible sodomy, attempted forcible sodomy and kidnapping crimes by three un-named individuals. The crimes allegedly took place between March 1984 and September 1987. There is additional testimony accusing Howard of other offenses that took place during the same time period and later.
Howard's attorneys have argued that the case should be dismissed. According to documents the motion to dismiss revolves around legal issues pertaining to the applicable Statues of Limitations that were passed into law since the charges were filed so long after the alleged crimes took place.
The court decided to rule within 30 days to see if the defense motion is sustained therefore dropping all charges against Howard. A trial will proceed if the motion fails and may begin as early as the first part of 2013.