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Police investigate sexual assault of child at Columbia homeless camp

A Columbia homeless man, already registered as a sex offender, is off the streets after being arrested for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old-boy. Police tell ABC 17 News Dwayne Robison, 29, was arrested at his homeless camp near Broadway and the Hinkson Creek. He’s charged with four counts of statutory sodomy.

Police said Robison was already registered as a sex offender in Nevada. They aren’t sure why, how, or how long he has been in Columbia. Investigators believe the two met at the bus station and quickly struck up a friendship. But they were called to University Hospital later that night about the boy being sexually assaulted.

Investigators said Robison was virtually unknown to them. They say information shows he has gotten into trouble in Nevada and Denver before making his way to Missouri. Police believe Robison and the teen met Saturday and rode around the city on a bus. They said the two got off and made their way to the homeless camp. That’s where Robison and the boy allegedly performed sexual acts on each other in his tent. Police weren’t aware of the camp or how long it had been there when questioned.

“We concentrate more on aggressive panhandling that happens at intersections is where we really focus,” Columbia Police officer Latisha Stroer said.

Stroer said on a day-to-day basis, monitoring the homeless camps is not that high of a priority for police. She says incidents at these camps aren’t a trend, but they have happened before. You may remember nearly three years ago a homeless man was murdered by two other homeless men when they tried to get some of his food.

The city has even tried to clean some of the camps up. In February, the city cleaned up a site near the connector.

Police said there are services in the city that check up on the camps and do things like bring hygiene products and check for illnesses.

Cops say they are many camps around the city, but they’re responsible for pinpointing where they are.

“Try to identify where they’re are, how many people are living in those camps, and the conditions that are going on,” Stroer said.

Robison is being held in the Boone County jail on $400,000 bond. If he does post bond, he is not allowed to have any contact with the victim. Robison’s first court appearance has not been set.

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ABC 17 News Team


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