Chris Seufert, 40, Trial team leader, Platte County prosecuting attorney’s office, Platte City
Practice areas: Prosecution
Law school: Duke University
Chris Seufert not only prosecutes child sex offenses but has played major roles in setting the terms under which such crimes are tried. Over the past few years, Seufert took the lead in redrafting the state’s child pornography laws as part of the overhaul of the criminal code lawmakers passed this year. He also helped draft a proposed constitutional amendment that, if approved next month by voters, will permit evidence of prior criminal acts in child sex abuse cases.
Several of Seufert’s prosecutions have helped shape the law, including a case that led the Missouri Supreme Court to rule in 2012 that an offender could not be convicted separately for each item of child pornography that he possessed. With Seufert’s help, lawmakers in 2012 amended the statute to allow for separate convictions.
Seufert serves as the president of the Platte County Bar Association and the advisory board of Synergy Services Child Advocacy Center. He served on the Park Hill School Board and has also taught an elective class on the law and lawyering at Cristo Rey High School in central Kansas City.
What is your greatest accomplishment to date?
Working with the group that conceived of, drafted and advocated for Missouri Constitutional Amendment 2, which will allow propensity evidence in child sex cases. Child victims show amazing courage by testifying. If Amendment 2 passes, those victims will not have to stand alone against repeat sex offenders.
Who is your legal hero?
My legal heroes are Missouri’s prosecutors. They seek justice and do the right thing every day, all while making a fraction of what their contemporaries make.
What’s been your favorite moment as an attorney so far?
When I get to tell the victim of child sexual abuse that the abuser will spend the rest of his or her life in prison and never hurt another kid.