Webb City man to stand trial on statutory rape charges

Jan. 21—A 24-year-old Webb City man waived a preliminary hearing this week in Jasper County Circuit Court on charges that he had sexual relations with a 16-year-old girl.

Associate Judge Joseph Hensley ordered Christopher H.J. Stites to stand trial on counts of second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy, and set his initial appearance in a trial division on Feb. 8.

Stites was 22 years old when he had the relations with the girl in September 2021, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.