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Belton Police say young girl 'knew when it was time to fight back,' scared off alleged attacker

Suspect in custody, being held without bond
Belton Pol
Posted at 10:17 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 23:33:45-04

BELTON, Mo. — A Belton man is being held without bond after allegedly breaking into a home and trying to molest a 9-year-old girl.

Police said they were called to the Crown Mobile Home/RV Park around 6 a.m. Monday. The little girl told them she'd been asleep on her grandmother's floor when she woke up and saw the suspect, Larry Register Jr.

She told authorities she recognized Register because he was the stepfather of one of her friends.

"She stated that the defendant asked her to follow him into the living room and she did," according to court documents, adding, "the defendant then tried to 'rape' her and grabbed her from behind... telling her to 'Lay down and do what I say.'"

That's when the little girl, according to court documents, said Register "began to climb on top of her before she scratched his arms" and "bit him on his pinky finger causing him to drop her," before running from the home as she screamed.

Police credited her with fighting back and warding off her attacker, adding this should serve as a warning to other parents to teach their children to do the same, should they ever be in a similar situation.

"The take away from this is we all teach our kids to be respectful and respect their elders," Lt. Dan Davis, of the Belton Police Department, said. "However, there’s a time and place for everything. In this case, she knew. She knew when it was time to not be respectful, she knew when it was time to fight back."

Davis also said the girl was calm and composed and able to provide a detailed account of not only what allegedly happened, but describe exactly what he was wearing that night.

Police immediately began searching and found him just three hours later, wearing the same clothing the girl described.

"This is an example of cooperation between the initial responding control units and our detective unit," Davis said. "Officers on the scene were able to identify the suspect in this almost immediately. Through the cooperation with our department and the Cass County Sheriff's department, Mr. Register was taken into custody within hours of the incident.

And then our detectives obviously went to work in putting all the pieces together with interviews and collection of evidence to get this case submitted to the prosecutor for review very quickly."

Register was arraigned on Wednesday, not just for this incident, but a separate case from 2019 that detectives had coincidentally just wrapped up.

"He went to his arraignment on this case with the first-degree burglary and the attempted child molestation and what he didn’t realize is [we had] just gotten DNA results back on the case from a year ago – from over a year ago – where he conducted another first-degree burglary or home invasion and stole a firearm," Davis said.

In both cases, the judge ruled Register will be held without bond.

"The fact that we can bring some peace to her and her family and that we’ve got this guy locked up and the justice system as a whole is making sure he stays there? That’s very satisfying," Davis said.

After being taken into custody, Register admitted to being drunk and high and going for a walk , but denied being in the family's home that morning.

He's already listed on the Missouri Sex Offender Registry Page. In 2003, he pleaded guilty to first-degree statutory sodomy for sexually assaulting a victim under the age of 14 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.