Brief Fact Summary. The Defendant, Sandra Nations (Defendant) owns and operates the Main Street Disco, in which police officers found a scantily clad sixteen-year-old girl dancing for tips. Consequently, the Defendant was charged with endangering the welfare of a child less than seventeen years old. The Defendant was convicted and fined $1,000.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Missouri criminal code defines “knowingly” as actual knowledge. A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to attendant circumstances when he is aware that those circumstances exist.
Issue. Did the Defendant knowingly encourage a child less than seventeen years old to engage in conduct tending to injure the child’s welfare?
Held. The facts show that the Defendant could not have checked the child’s age because the child did not have any identification on her person and the night in question was the child’s first night dancing at the disco. However, at best, the facts show that the Defendant did not know or refused to learn the child’s age. However, this is not “knowledge” as required for conviction under the statute, it is mere recklessness and nothing more. As a result, the Defendant’s conviction in the lower court is reversed.
Such adoption takes the statute as it exists at the time of adoption and does not include subsequent additions or modifications of the statute so taken unless it does so by express intent.View Full Point of Law