Any type of sexual abuse is devastating for the victim. The effects of child sexual abuse as well as adult sexual abuse last for years, and victims often require the help of a professional to help them get through this horrible experience. In many instances, sexual abuse occurs at some of the institutions we trust the most, such as schools or even churches.

If you or someone close to you has suffered sexual abuse, an attorney with Baron & Budd may be able to help you obtain compensation for the suffering you have experienced.

What is Sexual Abuse?

The term “sexual abuse” can cover many things. It basically refers to any type of crime in which a victim is subjected to any sort of unwanted sexual act. It could be child molestation, inappropriate touching, attempted rape or something else.

In Arkansas, there are four degrees of sexual assault, and all of them are considered felonies.

  • First-degree sexual assault – This is when someone in a position of authority, such as a Department of Corrections employee or a teacher, uses that position to engage in inappropriate sexual activity with someone 21 years or younger.
  • Second-degree sexual assault – An example of this is forcibly compelling someone to submit to sexual contact.
  • Third-degree sexual assault – Third-degree sexual assault occurs when a minor engages in inappropriate sexual activity so someone younger than 14 who is not their spouse.
  • Fourth-degree sexual assault – This occurs when someone 20 years of age or older has inappropriate sexual relations with a victim who is younger than 16 who is not their spouse.

The penalties for sexual assault in Arkansas can vary greatly, ranging from a misdemeanor to several years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. Rape is considered a particularly heinous form of sexual assault. It is punishable by 10-40 years or life in prison.

Examples of Sexual Abuse in Arkansas

Unfortunately, Arkansas is not immune to cases involving institutional sexual abuse. Here are just a few examples.

  • A Centeron man working as a volunteer at First Baptist Church was arrested and charged with first-degree sexual assault in January 2019. He was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old Bentonville girl.
  • A Waldron assistant middle school principal was arrested in in August 2018 for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old student. According to police, the suspect said she told them she had sex with the student on several occasions. She faced five counts of Sexual Assault in the 1st Degree.
  • Arkansas is also not immune to the tragedy of priests accused of sexual abuse. In October 2018, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Little Rock announced it had received 26 more reports of child sexual abuse allegedly committed by priests.

Contact Baron & Budd

Please get in touch with Baron & Budd if you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse committed by someone affiliated with a school, a church or some other type of institution. Contact us online or call (866) 691-7631 for a confidential consultation.

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