BY LEANN DILBECK –
A former Mena man and Fort Polk soldier was sentenced last Thursday, July 17 in Lake Charles, Louisiana to 210-months in prison and five years of supervised release for sexually abusing a minor under 12-years-old.
According to U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley, Emil Roland Rath, 39, of Mena, Ark., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi for one count of felony abusive sexual contact with a minor under the age of 12. He is also required to register as a sex offender. He pleaded guilty to the charge on February 20.
Rath admitted that he engaged in sexual contact with a child under the age of nine on the Fort Polk military base in November of 2003. Rath, who was in the U.S. Army at the time, was watching an animated movie with the child at the victim’s residence when the incident took place. Rath was represented by public defender Cristie Gibbens.
According to Finley, the court also considered prior convictions and prior abuse of other minors by Rath. Those three previous convictions occurred in Polk County.
“Unfortunately, when these acts occur, the impact is long term and affects the entire family,” Finley said. “This defendant took advantage of the family’s trust and the child’s innocence to commit this horrendous crime. Children’s safety is a primary concern and a priority of this office.We will continue to prosecute those who abuse minors to the fullest extent of the law.”
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and the FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Myers Namie and Daniel J. McCoy prosecuted the case.