Breaking News

Local Man Sentenced to 40 Years for Sexual Assault of Minors

BY MELANIE BUCK –

A local man pled guilty to sexual assault of minors in Polk County Circuit Court last week and received a 40-year sentence to be served in the Arkansas Department of Corrections. James Edward Wilkinson, age 50, of Hatfield, was arrested on March 20, 2016 and charged with Sexual Assault – First Degree and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

According to Arkansas statutes, a person commits sexual assault in the first degree “if the actor engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual activity with another person, not the person’s spouse, who is less than eighteen (18) years of age and the actor: (1) Is employed with the Department of Correction, Department of Community Punishment, Department of Human Services, any city or county jail or juvenile detention facility, and the victim is in the custody of the Department of Correction, Department of Community Punishment, Department of Human Services, any city or county jail, or juvenile detention facility, or their contractors or agents; or (2) Is a professional under Arkansas Code 12-12-507(b) and is in a position of trust or authority over the victim and uses the position to engage in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual activity; or (3) Is an employee in the victim’s school or school district, a temporary caretaker, or a person in a position of trust or authority over the victim. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this subdivision that the actor was not more than three (3) years older than the victim.

On Wednesday, September 14, 2016, Wilkinson pled guilty and received 480 months on the charge of Sexual Assault – First Degree and 72 months on the charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The two sentences will run concurrent and equal a 40-year sentence.

The case has been sealed by order of the court. Wilkinson remains in the Polk County Detention Center where he awaits transport to the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *