This story has been updated with clarifying information.
A Ste. Genevieve man faces multiple charges following a Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) investigation into child rape and molestation.
On Thursday, Robert Eugene Scherer, 58, of Ste. Genevieve was charged with five counts of first-degree molestation, five counts of aggravated sodomy, five counts of supplying alcohol and/or drugs to a child, five counts of sodomy to a person under the age of 13, three counts of aggravated rape, and three counts of rape to a person under the age of 13.
According to a probable cause statement from the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office (SGCSO), on April 10, the parents of five minor siblings reported to the SGCSO Scherer’s alleged abuse of the children. The matter was initially investigated by child protective services.
On April 14, children’s services investigators contacted SGCSO to continue the investigation. After receiving the initial report, SGCSO investigators responded to a home in Ste. Genevieve where Scherer lived. According to the probable cause statement, the victims alleged some of the incidents took place inside the residence. SGCSO investigators photographed and secured evidence.
Child Advocacy Center interviews with the children were conducted on April 27. SGCSO investigators watched the interviews live on closed-circuit television. In separate interviews, five children between the ages of 3-12 gave detailed allegations of abuse to which they were said to be subjected by Scherer. In the report, all of the children claim to have been given food and drinks laced with THC gummies and marijuana.
All five of the children claim in the report that Scherer forced them to watch pornographic movies and showed them pornographic pictures of himself, of other people they didn’t know, and took pictures and showed them pictures of themselves. The report states that during the interviews, the children alleged the occasions of abuse took place in various locations, not just the home.
An RV located on the same property as the home was frequently mentioned as a location, as was a business in Herculaneum owned by the grandmother of the children. In the probable cause statement, the children said the abuse began when Scherer and their grandmother began closing down the business.
The children also allege Scherer threatened to harm their father and made additional threats of punishment if they did not perform the sexual tasks he wanted them to do for him. Some of the children allege Scherer raped them three or four times a week. All of the children claim multiple occasions of sodomy and molestation.
Scherer pled not guilty to all charges on Friday during the initial arraignment. A cash-only bond has been set at $500,000.
Jeannie Barton-Northrup is a reporter for the Daily Journal.