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Joplin Man Charged with Exposing Himself to Teen Delivering Phon - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Man Charged with Exposing Himself to Teen Delivering Phone Books for Band Fundraiser

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Joplin, MO -

  A band booster fundraiser that has students going door to door  leads to the arrest of a Joplin resident.

     Many fund-raising groups avoid door to door sales for the safety of children.

     Joplin high school band members raise money through phone book deliveries which some consider a safer option.

    But authorities say one encounter forced a student to put safety guidelines into action.

You’ll notice names and numbers books are appearing on porches. And Joplin band students are delivering them.

But a delivery to a duplex on East 16th street  July 24th brought a big shock for a student.

Joplin police department Corporal Chuck Niess says,  "A male had come to the door, standing there,  watched him (the student)  and then  exposed himself to the juvenile."

Police were called and forty-six year old Marty Forrest was arrested and charged with misdemeanor sexual misconduct for indecent exposure.

TNT enterprises distribution manager for Names and Numbers Helen Duncan says safety training tips were put into action. She says, "That student went straight back to their parent which is exactly what they should have done."

The phone book distribution manager says thirty-five band booster delivery teams follow specific safety guidelines.

"They're required to deliver during daylight hours only  and they must have a ratio at least one adult to every two students. "

Police say working in pairs or more is key in any door to door venture.

 Cpl. Niess adds, "Obviously never go in anyone's house and they really should’t be inviting you in anyways. Safety on both parts there. But just be aware of your surroundings and be ready to move if you have to."

Duncan says, "They're knocking on no doors they simply go to the porch place  the book on the inside the porch and go to the next house. So they're just there very few seconds."

Police and distributors say the incident is disturbing but rare.

Duncan says, “It’s very surprising!  It’s the first time it’s ever happened to us. I've been working for Names and Numbers for nine years and we've never had this type of incident before."

Cpl. Niess says, "I could think of people doing strange things, exposing themselves in windows or something,  maybe less  once a year."

Students deliver the phone books to Carl Junction, Webb city, Oronogo and all throughout  Joplin.  Some earn on average one hundred to one hundred-fifty dollars. But some have even exceeded that earning up to six hundred  dollars in the fundraiser. 

 Band mom Dianne Ellman says that means, "The money didn't have to come out of our own pocket for part of it. Some of it may. But we made almost one hundred-fifty dollars towards his trip."

The band takes a trip every other year usually to another state for competition and fun.

The Joplin school district issued the following statement: “Student safety is our top priority at school and in school-related activities. We have talked with the family. We are so thankful the student is safe, and we appreciate that the parent followed the fundraiser safety guidelines. We will assist them in any way needed regarding the police investigation.”

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