Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect that Paul Robert Cannon has never taught in Sedalia; he retired from education before moving to Sedalia.
A retired high school teacher has been charged in federal court for attempting to induce a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity.
According to a news release from Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Paul Robert Cannon, 71, of Sedalia, was charged Friday in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Jefferson City after he arranged to meet with a woman and her 14-year-old daughter for illicit sexual activity. Cannon never taught in Sedalia; he retired from education before moving to Sedalia.
Cannon was arrested Friday and remains in federal custody pending a court appearance Monday.
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. Over the next six days, the affidavit states, the detective exchanged numerous emails with Cannon. In these exchanges, Cannon allegedly described various sex acts he intended to perform with the minor daughter.
He also allegedly offered to have sex with both the mother and minor daughter together and said he was looking for “a continuing relationship.” The detective also exchanged numerous texts with Cannon, the affidavit states, in which Cannon described various sex acts he intended to perform with the minor daughter.
The undercover detective arranged to meet Cannon at a Columbia restaurant Friday afternoon. Cannon offered to buy lunch for the mother and daughter, the affidavit states, before going to their residence for a sexual rendezvous. When Cannon arrived at the restaurant, he was redirected to another nearby restaurant, where he was arrested.
This case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the FBI and the Boone County Cyber Crimes Task Force.