Columbia man wanted for statutory rape turns himself in

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 | 1:09 p.m. CDT; updated 4:10 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 20, 2010

COLUMBIA — A man wanted on a charge of statutory rape turned himself in to the Boone County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday.

William J. Strickland, 19, was taken into custody by the Sheriff’s Department at 8:18 p.m., detective Tom O’Sullivan said. He was released on a $50,000 bond less than an hour later.

According to a previous Missourian article, Strickland was wanted on the charge of first-degree statutory rape  in connection with an incident involving a 12-year-old girl.

The initial report was filed in July, and the sheriff’s department spent the next few months gathering information about the case, O’Sullivan said. The search began a month ago.

“When we figured out we had enough probable cause to arrest him, we went looking for him,” O’Sullivan said.

Sheriff’s Department Maj. Tom Reddin said that publishing Strickland’s photo in the media put pressure on the teen to stop hiding from police.

“I think that had a great effect on turning himself in,” Reddin said.

O’Sullivan said the people around Strickland were urging him to give himself up after seeing his photo in newspapers and on television.

Law enforcement from towns near Columbia were attempting to track Strickland down, which was difficult because he does not have a permanent address, O’Sullivan said.

“We had Centralia police actively looking for him, Hallsville police, any place we thought he might be or may have been we were checking out,” O’Sullivan said.

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