Convicted sex offender sentenced to maximum 14 years

Monday, January 28, 2008 | 9:35 p.m. CST; updated 2:19 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — A convicted sex offender from Columbia was sentenced Monday to 14 years in prison, the maximum allowable sentence.

Boone County Circuit Court Judge Gary Oxenhandler sentenced Eric P. Saverson, 47, to serve two consecutive seven-year terms. In November, a Boone County jury found Saverson guilty of sexual assault and deviate sexual assault. An acquaintance said Saverson raped her after they smoked crack together March 11.

Saverson pleaded guilty in 1995 to the sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

Before Monday’s sentencing, Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Andy Scholz said Saverson is a danger to society and that he was disappointed that he could only be sentenced to 14 years.

“I wish he could be sentenced to life,” Scholz said.

Saverson read a written statement asking the judge for leniency before the sentencing. He said he was innocent and that the victim’s testimony was not credible.

“There is no evidence besides a crack addict’s word,” Saverson said.

During the trial, the victim testified that on the day of the incident she and a friend went to the Upper Deck, 5951 N. Wagon Trail Road, to celebrate her birthday, according to Missourian archives. The Missourian does not publish the names of sex-crime victims without consent.

After leaving, she and her friend went back to her apartment and snorted cocaine, she said. They then met up with Saverson, whom her friend knew as “Rick,” at his apartment at the 1500 block of Timber Creek Drive. She testified the three proceeded to smoke crack for several hours. She testified that after sleeping at Saverson’s house, she left with him to get more crack, which they smoked together before they had consensual sex. Before leaving Saverson’s home, she said he told her he would not let her leave until she paid him back for the crack she smoked.

She testified that Saverson became belligerent and forced her to take off her clothes after a physical altercation.

She testified that after the struggle, Saverson forced her to touch his penis and perform oral sex on him before forcing her to have intercourse with him.

The victim pressed charges against Saverson a few days later after she saw his mug shot on the Boone County Sheriff Department’s online sex offender registry.

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