Theodoro Vargas Jr.

Theodoro Vargas Jr.

A Nixa man is set to stand trial in January 2021 on allegations that he maintained a relationship with a teen girl that led to statutory rape, sex trafficking and child pornography charges.

Theodoro Vargas Jr., 49, faces 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. All 14 charges filed against Vargas are felonies.

At a hearing on Aug. 24, Vargas had his jury trial scheduled to begin on Jan. 4, 2021. He was originally scheduled to have a hearing on Sept. 8, but his five-day trial was pushed back after defense attorney Steven Kellogg, a public defender, asked for and was granted continuance in the case.

Vargas is set to be tried in front of Christian County Presiding Judge Laura Johnson in circuit court.

Vargas was charged Nov. 13, 2019, and arrested by Nixa police Nov. 20. The 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.”

Vargas is being held without bond in the Christian County Jail in Ozark.

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