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Haskell police officer charged with sexual assault and child porn

Just as in the rest of the country, Arkansas is getting its share of arrests and allegations of criminal behavior against law enforcement officers. That trend was furthered by a recent arrest in Haskell of a police officer for 2d degree sexual assault involving a juvenile and two child pornography charges. Despite the dramatic publicity given to the arrest and the subsequent firing of the officer, none of the reports indicate specifically what the specific allegations are against him. In that respect, his life and reputation have been effectively and permanently tainted without a shred of evidence put forth against him.

In the news reports and letters to the editor, citizens of Saline County are apparently divided in their initial reaction to the arrest. While many are shocked due to the proximity of the police department building to the school building, others who know the suspect are defending him as an excellent police officer who may yet be proved to be innocent. Some citizens were outraged that he was directing traffic at the Harmony Grove school, apparently after he had been arrested.

It was announced later that the suspect was fired from the Haskell Police Department. It is hoped that the accused has retained criminal defense counsel and had sufficient time to go over all of the details with his counsel. In a case like this, a sexual assault claim could be exaggerated or even fabricated by a juvenile who has a hidden motive or agenda. Sadly, false accusations do occur and cannot be ruled out early in a sexual assault case. 

That is why the facts must be investigated early by the defense attorney and the defense investigators. All motives of the victim, and the details of precisely how the sexual assault and other charges surfaced must be meticulously researched and understood. The client's story must be checked and double-checked. There is a possibility that at some point the suspect may wish to enter into negotiations for a plea, but if the basic truth of the matter reveals his innocence under Arkansas law, then a vigorous defense must be waged on all issues and fronts.

Source: katv.com, "UPDATE: Haskell police officer arrested on sexual assault, child", C.J. Gardner, Aug. 17, 2015

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