More Wentzville teen sexual assault victims come forward

WENTZVILLE, MO (KPLR) - Authorities have identified more victims who said they were sexually assaulted by a Wentzville businessman.

A St. Charles County grand jury has issued 21 separate criminal accounts against Daniel Hallmark, 54. The Wentzville plumber is already in custody, held on charges involving four teen males.

The number of victims who have come forward now stands at seven, St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar said. Wentzville Police began investigating Hallmark a few months ago, when a counselor of one of the alleged victims contacted authorities. Lohmar said Hallmark used a calculated, ongoing scheme to take advantage of his victims. In nearly every case, he said, the child came from a household that was single-parent, disabled, or low-income household.

“So he would, we think, purposely seek these people out. And he would try to not only induce the children to trust them, but also their parents,” Lohmar said. “He would do that by offering a child a job, of offering to pay him for small things here and there. A few of these kids actually were at his house for extended periods of time with the parent’s consent.”

Over time, authorities say Hallmark turned to technology to lure his victims. Criminal acts on the first victims happened before social media came into play, Lohmar said.

“At first, he would seek these people out in public places, like a Walmart for example, or a grocery store. And as time went by, other social mediums became available to him, he would take advantage of those. We have several victims who were contacted directly through social media,” he said.

The latest charges include first and second degree statutory sodomy, sexual misconduct, furnishing pornographic material, deviant sexual assault, forcible sodomy, and attempted enticement of a child.

The investigation is ongoing and police believe more victims could come forward. Hallmark remains in custody on a $250,000 cash-only bond.