A Nixa man was sentenced to 15 years of prison time, though he remains in the Christian County Jail in Ozark awaiting entry into the Missouri prison system.
Theodoro Vargas, 49, was sentenced to five years in prison on each of his three counts of second-degree statutory sodomy. Circuit Judge Laura Johnson ordered that Vargas’ sentences run consecutive to one another, meaning he will serve a total of 15 years in prison.
Vargas avoided a jury trial originally set for January 2021, and then rescheduled due to concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, by entering a guilty plea in late 2020. Vargas was first arrested Nov. 20, 2019, on allegations that he maintained a relationship with a teen girl that led to statutory rape, sex trafficking and child pornography charges.
Vargas’ original indictment contained a total of 14 criminal charges related to an ongoing relationship he allegedly maintained with a child under the age of 15.
Vargas is charged with four counts of second-degree statutory rape, two counts of second-degree statutory sodomy, six counts of enticement of a child and two counts of possession of child pornography.
At a hearing on Aug. 24, Vargas had his jury trial scheduled to begin on Jan. 4, 2021.
Vargas was charged Nov. 13, 2019. His arrest came nine months after police contacted a Nixa family on a separate matter, and in the process, learned of allegations of sexual contact between Vargas and the girl.
Nixa police first interviewed Vargas at the police station on Feb. 4, 2019.
On June 24, 2019, one of the girl’s relatives contacted police to report some messages she found on a laptop computer that the girl had been using. A Nixa police officer identified a series of messages between the girl and Vargas, “based on screen names and accompanying face shots,” that had been ongoing for “several weeks.” According to the case’s probable cause statement, Vargas and the girl discussed sexual encounters among their conversations.
“I noticed a selfie of the two and several nudes,” the Nixa police officer wrote in the probable cause statement. “Based on the messages between the juvenile and the suspect, it is clear he is actively contacting her and pursuing a sexual relationship.”