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Former Diamond school board member arrested for rape - KOAM TV 7

Former Diamond school board member arrested for rape

Updated:
Newton County, Missouri -

Former Diamond R-4 school district board member Johnny Russow turned himself in Thursday morning to Newton County Sheriff's Department on two counts of second-degree rape.

Russow is accused of having sexual relations with a 16 year-old girl, who is a student in the Diamond school district.

"Charges were filed by the Newton County prosecutor yesterday on two counts of statutory second-degree rape. They're both class C felonies, there's two counts, they're involving a 16 year old female, also from Diamond," Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said.

Authorities were contacted several days ago by the victim's father. The victim was then interviewed before charges were filed. The investigation lasted several days but Russow turned himself in at 8 a.m. on Thursday before making bond.

"It's been reported to us that it had nothing to do with the school board, or the fact that he was a school board member or that she was a student at Diamond school. He was friends with the victim, as well as her family," Copeland said.

The charges are statutory rape.

"At 16, the law says you cannot consent. That's why it's called statutory rape. If you have sexual relations with a 16 year-old girl, if you're an adult male, especially 44, it's classified as statutory rape," Copeland said.

Russow's next step will be receiving his court date and arraignment.

On April 6, Russow resigned his position on the Diamond school board, a decision the board unanimously accepted.

"Safety is at the highest priority for our district. If these allegations are true, it definitely goes against the beliefs and upstanding belief we have in educating our students. We just hope that our thoughts and prayers are with all parties and families involved," Diamond superintendent Mike Mabe said.

When asked if counseling services or special precautions were being taken at Diamond High School, Mabe declined to comment.

We reached out to Russow but have not heard back.

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