SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A former Missouri restaurant manager who raped a woman a month into his probation for previously raping an underage employee has once again been sentenced to probation, leading local #MeToo activists to urge formal action against the judge in the case.
Beau Maurice Gormley, 33, of Republic, was found guilty of second-degree rape in December, Greene County court records show. Greene County Circuit Judge Calvin R. Holden sentenced him Friday to five years of supervised probation.
The Ozarks Independent reported that Assistant Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Elizabeth Fax had urged Holden to give Gormley the maximum penalty of seven years in prison.
"This is not his first rodeo," Fax told the judge, according to the Springfield News-Leader.
Gormley's lawyer, Jason Coatney, argued that his client had not yet begun his sex offender treatment program at the time of the second incident. According to KY3 in Springfield, Gormley's sex abuse counselor and probation officer both testified that he is making progress in his treatment.
Holden ultimately sided with the defense but warned Gormley that another probation violation would result in his being sent to prison, the Independent reported.
Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson quoted President Ronald Reagan in expressing his displeasure with Holden’s ruling.
"We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the law breaker," Patterson wrote on Twitter. "It's time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
The Christian County Headliner News reported that Gormley's first conviction stemmed from a June 2014 incident in which he had sex with a 16-year-old girl on a prep table at the Italian restaurant he managed. A probable cause statement obtained by the News-Leader said the girl was afraid to tell anyone what happened because Gormley was her boss and she needed to keep her job.
The owner of the restaurant, which has since closed, discovered security footage of the sexual encounter and told the girl's mother, the Headliner News reported. The Ozark Police Department also recovered the tape.
After the incident came to light, Gormley had the girl fill out a new application with the wrong birthdate so investigators would believe he was unaware of the girl's true age, the Headliner News said.
"She said she did so only because Beau told her to," the probable cause statement in the case said.
Court records show Gormley pleaded guilty to statutory rape in April 2016. He was sentenced to seven years in prison but was released on probation after spending 120 days in a sex offenders' unit, the News-Leader reported.
The second rape Gormley committed within three years took place in November 2016.
"This defendant, who has a prior conviction for having sex with a 16-year-old employee, 34 days after he was released from the sex offender assessment unit, raped the mother of his children," Patterson said, according to KY3.
A probable cause statement in the 2016 case indicates Gormley pressured the woman for hours to "come lay" in bed with him. She eventually agreed and, once in the bed, some consensual sexual contact took place, the News-Leader reported.
Gormley then climbed on top of her and forced her to have sex with him, the newspaper reported.
Holden found Gormley guilty of second-degree rape but allowed him to avoid a prison sentence.
The judge’s decision sparked outrage online, including in tweets by administrators of Me Too Springfield, an organization devoted to bringing awareness to sexual assault, abuse and harassment.
"This is what we're fighting," the organization's leaders tweeted Saturday alongside a link to the News-Leader's story about Gormley's sentence.
Another tweet by the group urged action.
"Don't just get angry on Twitter," the tweet said. "You can do something about it by filing a formal complaint."
The tweet included a link to The Missouri court system's Commission of Retirement, Removal and Discipline.
The Headliner News reported that although Gormley avoided prison while in Holden's courtroom, he is not out of the woods. He has a probation revocation hearing Thursday in Christian County for violating his probation in the statutory rape case.
If his probation is revoked, he could serve seven years for that conviction.
Cox Media Group