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Cole Co. Man Charged with Rape

A Cole County man has been charged with rape and child molestation after allegedly assaulting a woman and forcing a child to have sex.Joe Clayton Stevens, 26, has been charged with first degree statutory rape, first degree child molestation and second degree domestic assault after making an appearance in Cole County Circuit Court WednesdayAccording to court documents, Stevens allegedly punched a woman in the head several times before dragging her around their house by her hair. He then reportedly burned her with cigarettes and threatened to kill her. Stevens is also accused of having sex with a child younger than the age of 14 and allegedly forced the girl to perform oral sex.Stevens remains in the Cole County Jail on a $250,000 bond. He is next scheduled to appear in court on April 1 for a hearing. If convicted, Stevens faces a lengthy prison sentence and would have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

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