Bond revoked for man accused of August 2002 rape, kidnapping

Thursday, February 13, 2003

A Blackwater man accused of rape and kidnapping had his bond revoked Tuesday after evidence was presented that he had violated the conditions of his bond by making contact with his alleged victim.

The charges against Steve Thomas Sites, 43, stem from the August 2002 kidnapping of a Marshall woman. The woman was a former acquaintance of Sites and had been issued an order of protection from him.

In the days prior to her abduction, she had reported to police that Sites was following and harassing her.

On Jan. 28, 15th Judicial Circuit Presiding Judge Dennis Rolf allowed for a $200,000 property bond, despite the objections of Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Don Stouffer and Assistant Prosecutor James Barton. The bond was posted Jan. 31 with Charles Thomas Sites and Nancy Dianne Sites as sureties.

The conditions of the bond were that Sites live with his parents, be on electronic monitoring by Feb. 7, have no contact with the victim and submit to alcohol and drug testing at the request of the court or any law enforcement officer.

Stouffer filed a motion to revoke that bond on Feb. 7. According to Stouffer's motion, Sites had violated the conditions of his bond by contacting the victim both by phone and in person.

Hearing rescheduled

A hearing on the matter had been scheduled for Monday, but Sites and his attorney, Patrick Eng, failed to appear. At the rescheduled hearing Tuesday, Eng appeared alone. He told the court that Sites' parents had taken him to the Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center earlier in the day.

During Tuesday's hearing, Marshall Police Detective Sgt. Brad Bartlett was called upon to testify. Bartlett said the department had received a call from a man with whom the victim had been living. He told them Sites had called his residence 50 times since his release on Jan. 31. The man was able to supply police with an answering machine tape that contained several messages for the victim. Bartlett said he believed the caller's voice was that of Sites.

During cross examination, Eng questioned whether Bartlett could accurately identify the voice on the tape. He also noted that it was not the victim who called police to report the contact and said the phone messages seemed, to him, to respond to earlier conversations with the victim.

Barton also presented as evidence arrest and offense reports from the Columbia Police Department. The reports show that Sites was taken into custody by Columbia officers in the presence of the victim, violating both an ex parte order of protection and the condition of his bond.

Bond revoked

After hearing the evidence, Rolf ruled there had been a violation of the bond and ordered it revoked. Because Sites did not appear in person, Rolf ordered a warrant for his arrest be issued and set a new bond at $500,000 cash only.

Eng motioned that a warrant not be issued, as Sites was currently in a mental health institution.

"I'd hate to disturb his hospitalization," he said.

Barton argued that if Sites had admitted himself, there was no way to guarantee he would stay at the facility. Rolf denied Eng's motion, noting Sites had violated the condition of his bond within days of his release. "I don't know how I can trust him to do what we tell him to do," he said. Rolf added that if, at a later date, it can be determined that Sites' commitment at the facility can be secured, he might reconsider.

"Until then I'm not going to stop the sheriff or any other law enforcement from going down and locking him up," he said.

Kidnapping detailed

Court records indicate the woman was asleep at the time Sites entered her home last August. She told authorities a noise woke her and she found Sites had put a handcuff on one of her wrists. The woman said she struggled with Sites, attempting to stab him with a pair of scissors.

The woman told authorities that during the struggle Sites told her he intended to kill her. Sites was eventually able to cuff the woman's other hand and led her from her house to a waiting vehicle.

The woman said Sites drove them to a cabin at the Lake of the Ozarks and told authorities she was sexually assaulted there.

Court records show the woman said she was able to escape after Sites had taken her to a drive-in diner. On the way back to the cabin, Sites left her partially bound in his vehicle while he went into a grocery store. She said when a sport utility vehicle blocked Sites' view of the car, she was able to get away. The woman then called authorities from a nearby gas station.

Following his arrest, Sites was charged with felony armed criminal action, class A felony forcible rape, class B felony burglary in the first degree and two counts each of class B felony kidnapping, class B felony domestic assault in the first degree, class A misdemeanor harassment and class A misdemeanor violation of an order of protection.

A jury trial for Sites is scheduled for June 11 in Saline County Circuit Court.

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