A Jefferson City man has been charged with fourth-degree child molestation.
Keith Ragan, 30, is believed to have committed the crime on or after December 2020, according to a Jefferson City Police Department probable cause statement.
The alleged victim, who is younger than 17, reportedly told officers earlier this month that Ragan had touched her in a sexual manner, primarily outside of her clothing, on several occasions since the two had become close in December 2020, and that he was aware she was a minor.
A search of the girl’s phone revealed text messages between the two revealing that sexual contact had occurred, and Ragan allegedly had searched on his phone prior to his arrest whether it was legal to have sexual intercourse with a minor, according to the probable cause statement.
Ragan reportedly admitted during an interview with authorities to having touched the girl in a sexual manner and that he knew her age.
Fourth-degree child molestation is a class E felony.
Ragan was released on his own recognizance, and his case has been assigned to Cole County Associate Circuit Judge Brian Stumpe, according to online court records.