- Associated Press - Friday, May 5, 2017

BENTON, Mo. (AP) - A 59-year-old southeast Missouri man is accused of sexually attacking two girls over the past two years.

The (Cape Girardeau) Southeast Missourian (https://bit.ly/2qI6h63 ) reports that Scott County prosecutors have charged Mark Friend of Benton with five counts of first-degree statutory sodomy, three counts of first-degree statutory rape, and two counts of second-degree child molestation.

A sheriff’s investigator, Jessica Martin, says in a probable-cause statement filed with the criminal complaint that police interviewed the girls, ages 13 and 12, after fielding an anonymous tip that Friend had assaulted them.

Martin wrote that one of the girls told police Friend began assaulting her about two years ago when she was 10, and that the misconduct continued until April 23.

Online court records don’t show whether Friend has an attorney.

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Information from: Southeast Missourian, https://www.semissourian.com

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