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By Echo Menges and Marlana Smith
Shelbyville, MO – It was revealed in open court last week the first of two child molestation cases against David Kiser, 62, of Shelbyville, is alleged to have occurred at his wife’s home daycare.
Kiser is alleged to have sexually assaulted a young child who was in the care of his wife, Tina Kiser. At a recent court hearing, the sexual assault was alleged to have happened in the presence of the daycare operator and other children.
According to court documents, the sodomy allegedly took place at 606 North Roosevelt Street. The Shelby County Herald was unable to verify the daycare is licensed using the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education online search tool for registered and licensed daycares. The search came back with “no records found” for the Kiser home.
In case No. 22SB-CR00005, Kiser is facing two counts of sodomy or attempted sodomy – first degree – victim less than 12 years old. This is one of two child sexual assault cases against Kiser currently moving through the court system.
Kiser is also facing a felony count of statutory sodomy – first degree – deviant sexual intercourse with a person under 14, and child molestation – second degree in case No. 22SB-CR00020. The sodomy and molestation charges allegedly took place at the same address in 2014, according to court documents. Kiser is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing in the second case on May 18, 2022.
The first preliminary hearing in the felony sodomy case against Kiser ( No. 22SB-CR00005) was held on Wednesday, April 20, in the Shelby County Courthouse beginning at approximately 10:14 a.m.
The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to allow a judge to decide if there is enough evidence against the defendant for the case to proceed through the court process, and be bound over from associate to circuit court. Binding over a criminal case is not evidence of guilt. It is merely a part of the court process.
Who Was There
Kiser appeared in court with his defense attorney, Stephen Porter. He was also accompanied by his wife, Tina, and three others.
Investigators from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office were also in the Court gallery including Sheriff Arron Fredrickson, Sergeant Chris Ehrenreich, and Deputy Farren Lindsay along with a victim’s advocate.
Also in the gallery were the victim’s parents and two other family members.
(Note: Identifiable information about victims, including the identities of their family members, is not released by this newspaper.)
In the courtroom well, Macon County Associate Circuit Judge Kristen D. Burks presided over the hearing from the bench. She was flanked by Shelby County Deputy Clerk Tammy Snider and a court reporter hired by the defense to create a written transcript of the hearing.
Also in the courtroom well were Shelby County Prosecutor Jordan Force, her Administrative Assistant Wendy Carothers, and Victim’s Advocate Jolie Foreman, Kiser and Porter.
Shelby County Associate Circuit Judge Mike Greenwell also watched a portion of the hearing from the gallery. Originally presiding over the case, Judge Greenwell was replaced by Judge Burks after a motion for a change of judge was filed in the case on January 10.
Journalists Echo Menges and Marlana Smith, representing the Shelby County Herald and the NEMOnews Media Group, were also present. Courtroom attendees were identified by these reporters.
Mother of Victim’s Testimony
The victim’s mother was the first to take the witness stand. She was called to the stand by Force and sworn-in by Judge Burks at 10:19 a.m. Before her testimony began, Force laid a box of tissues next to the witness.
The witness told the court she is a resident of Shelby County and the victim in the case is her child. She also told the court that the defendant’s wife, Tina Kiser, provided daycare services for the victim.
“I heard (the victim) say to (another child) something weird happened at Papa David’s today,” said the witness crying.
The witness said the victim told her, “I was laying by Papa David and he stuck his hands down the front of my pants and…”
The witness told the court, “I said, did you tell him to stop? And (the victim) said, ‘Yeah, and he just smiled at me.’ Then, I had to walk away – because I was freaking out.”
“I asked (the victim) if this has happened before, and (the victim) said just today and yesterday,” said the witness.
The child was only five years old at the time of the alleged encounter, said the witness.
“I called Cole Hinshaw, because I didn’t know what to do,” said the witness. The witness testified Hinshaw is a law enforcement officer known to the witness.
Under cross examination by defense attorney Porter, the witness told the court the victim began daycare at the Kiser home when the victim was around nine to ten months old, and had no complaints about the daycare prior to learning of the molestation allegations.
Porter also asked if the witness and her husband were friends of the Kisers, to which the witness answered, yes, they were.
“Wouldn’t a friend contact a friend?” Porter asked the witness – later asking why she called law enforcement rather than going directly to the Kiser’s with the allegations.
The witness, who was already crying, began sobbing on the stand.
“Why didn’t you do that?” Porter asked the witness.
“I wanted to call Tina every day,” said the witness.
“Why didn’t you?” said Porter.
“Because a trust was broken,” said the witness.
The defense asked a battery of questions about the victim and witness’ mental health, whether they were taking any medications or being treated by a mental health professional.
“No,” said the witness, adding “I don’t take anything but multivitamins.”
More Details Revealed in Court About the Investigation
During questioning from both sides, the victim’s mother painted a picture of the circumstances leading up to and following the initial allegations against Kiser.
The witness testified she got off of work at approximately 4:30 p.m. and drove to Shelbyville to pick up her child at roughly 5:00 p.m. on December 30, 2021.
Between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., while taking down a Christmas tree in the living room of their home, she overheard a conversation between the victim and another child, which caused her to begin asking questions about what allegedly happened to the victim at the daycare, said the witness.
After that, she contacted acquaintance Cole Hinshaw, who is a law enforcement officer. Hinshaw allegedly suggested calling the supervisor for the Shelby and Macon Children’s Division of Family Services Amber Browning and local law enforcement, the witness said.
The witness contacted Browning, and Browning contacted the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, said the witness.
At 8:00 a.m. the next morning, December 31, Browning and Shelby County Sheriff Arron Fredrickson were at the victim’s home, said the witness.
Three days later, January 3, 2022, the child was referred to The Child Advocacy Center of Northeast Missouri in Hannibal, and was subsequently interviewed by a forensic interviewer three days after that, on January 6, the witness said.
One day later, on January 7, the Shelby County Prosecutor filed two felony counts of sodomy or attempted sodomy – 1st degree – victim is less than 12 years old against Kiser in Case No. 22SB-CR00005, according to court documents.
Forensic Interviewer’s Testimony
At 11:18 a.m. Jessica Homeyer, Forensic Interviewer for The Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Northeast Missouri, was called to the stand.
Homeyer testified she conducted the January 6 interview with the victim at the CAC, which is based in Hannibal, MO.
Homeyer told the court she and the victim were alone in the interview room at the time of the interview, and the interaction was recorded with audio and video equipment. Also, four people were in the observation room watching the interview on television monitors as it happened. Those observers included two representatives of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, a victim’s advocate and a representative of the Missouri Division of Family Services.
Homeyer said victim’s parents are not permitted to watch the interview when a forensic interview is conducted. She also said no attorneys were present during the interview.
Homeyer explained what happened during the forensic interview. The victim was first introduced to the room, shown the camera and microphone and told that there were people watching in another room Homeyer said. The two began by talking about something the child likes to do, said Homeyer.
Homeyer also explained the four steps of the Child First protocol. Those steps are to establish rapport, give an open invitation to the child to share their experience, explore the details of the experience in question, and provide closure of the interview on a positive note, Homeyer said..
Homeyer avoided repeating the verbatim words the victim told her by referring to the DVD of the actual interview, however, she did disclose some of the information the victim gave her including allegations Tina Kiser and other children were in the living room with Kiser and the victim when the alleged sexual assaults occurred.
“It’s all on that DVD,” said Homeyer.
Kiser’s defense attorney objected to admitting the DVD of the forensic interview with the victim (exhibit one), and two drawings from the same interview (exhibit two).
The drawings were reported by Homeyer to be anatomical male and female figures. The child was asked to circle the parts of the body that were “not okay” for others to touch or see Homeyer said. Homeyer testified the victim circled the groin and buttock areas of each drawing.
Homeyer also testified that the interviewer wrote the words the victim used for specific parts of the bodies, as children often use unique names or words for different body parts, Homeyer said.
The only two exhibits of evidence submitted for the hearing were admitted. Judge Burks overruled the defense’s objection to allow the evidence in immediately after Homeyer’s testimony, which lasted approximately one hour and 11 minutes.
The defense did not call any witnesses to the stand and both the prosecution and defense rested their cases.
Judge Burks went into recess to watch the DVD of the forensic interview, which Homeyer reported lasted a little over an hour. Afterward, Judge Burks ruled there is enough evidence to bind the case over to circuit court.
Kiser is scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment on Thursday, April 28, at 10:00 a.m. in front of Judge Fredrick Tucker in case No. 22SB-CR00005-01.
About Homeyer’s Credentials
Homeyer told the court she began working for the Hannibal based center in 2016, and she has been conducting forensic interviews for five-and-a-half years. To date, Homeyer reported she has conducted approximately 730 forensic interviews about abuse, neglect, sexual/non-sexual disclosures, crimes, and drug exposure mainly with children between the ages of three and 17.
Homeyer also told the court she completed 40 hours of classroom training on the Child First interview protocol before becoming a forensic interviewer. Child First is the protocol used by forensic interviewers at child advocacy centers throughout Missouri, said Homeyer.
Homeyer said she completed the Child First training again, after her first 100 interviews, as recommended by the center. She said she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Science and Behavioral Science.
Defendant’s Side of the Story
Preliminary hearings are often the first opportunity for defendants to argue their side of the alleged incidents in court through their attorney. Details about Kiser’s side were not made public during this hearing, which should not be considered evidence of guilt. Guilt may only be determined by a jury, a judge during a bench trial, or the defendant by pleading guilty.
David Kiser is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court.
(Reporter’s Note: Prior to the start of the hearing, the Shelby County Herald/NEMOnews Media Group asked the court to make an audio record of the hearing, which was considered and approved by Judge Burks. This was done after a request was made to the defense council for a copy of the transcript, which was declined by the defendant who was paying the court reporter to record the transcript, according to defense attorney Stephen Porter.)