A retired high school teacher has been sentenced for attempted illicit sexual activity.
According to information from Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Paul Robert Cannon, 71, of Sedalia, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to 10 years in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced Cannon to spend the rest of his life on supervised release following incarceration.
Cannon was accused of arranging to meet a woman and her 14-year-old daughter (actually an undercover law enforcement officer) for illicit sexual activity.
Cannon, an industrial arts teacher from 1976 to 1996, retired from the Gasconade County R-2 School District. He also served one term as a member of the Gasconade County R-2 Board of Education after he retired.
On March 15, Cannon pleaded guilty to attempting to induce a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity. According to court documents, Cannon posted an advertisement on Craigslist on Jan. 18 entitled “Grandpa looking for a couple with kids.” The posting read, “Grandpa looking for a couple that would like to include their kids in sexual fun. White man, very discreet, very safe, retired teacher, and well endowed. Age and race are not an issue.”
On Jan. 21, a detective with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department responded to the Craigslist advertisement, portraying himself as a single mother with a 14-year-old daughter. The detective and Cannon exchanged several emails and texts over the next few days.
The undercover detective arranged to meet Cannon at a Columbia restaurant that afternoon. When Cannon arrived at the restaurant, he was redirected to another nearby restaurant, where he was arrested.
This case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Boone County Cyber Crimes Task Force and the FBI.