A sexually violent predator who has admitted to molesting more than 100 children over the past four decades has been committed to a secure mental health facility. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced the move in a news release issued Thursday morning.

It is not as if people were unaware that Jamie B. McPherson, 71, Independence, Missouri was a predator. His first brush with authorities came when he was working as a postal carrier in Lexington, Missouri, where he molested children during the 1980s and 1990s. When he was caught touching a child, he quietly retired from his job and no charges were ever filed.

Jobs provided offender access to children

According to the attorney general, McPherson continued to commit crimes, including molestation, sodomy and sexual contact with boys and girls by seeking jobs that offered him access. He left Lexington and moved to Independence, where he became a scout leader and church deacon, often inviting boys to stay at his home where he slept and showered with them and eventually performed sexual acts on them, the attorney general said in his news release.

Though it took years, McPherson's illegal activities finally put him on police radar and while he under investigation for molesting several children, he was charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in a swimming pool.

As officers kept investigating, they discovered McPherson had sodomized six boys, ranging in age from five to nine years old and had improperly touched many other children. Despite his growing record as a serial molester, a Jackson County judge placed McPherson on probation.

McPherson's probation was revoked when he was kicked out of the sexual offender treatment program he was attending as a condition for his freedom and was caught playing with a child at a bus stop.

Over the next seven years, while serving his sentence, McPherson continued to attend sexual offender programs, but never stopped saying that the children were the ones who were responsible for the molestation and he had never purposely set out to harm a child.

Legal action kept offender behind bars

When the time arrived for McPherson's sentence to end, Jackson County prosecutors took steps to ensure that he was not released into the community, joining the attorney general to file a case against McPherson as a sexually violent predator. Earlier this week, a Jackson County jury found that McPherson was a predator and Judge Mark Styles ordered his commitment.