JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - An Independence County district judge found probable cause this week to charge a Cave City man with raping a child 10 years ago.
The sheriff’s office began investigating the allegations on Jan. 15 after receiving a report from the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division of a possible sexual assault that occurred when the victim was 9 or 10.
According to the affidavit, the victim alleged Matthew Hipp, 36, sexually assaulted him multiple times at a home in Pleasant Plains.
The victim told investigators Hipp forced him to perform sex acts on himself and on Hipp. He said Hipp, who was in his mid-20s at the time, only stopped when the child got older.
On Feb. 4, Detective Sgt. Zach Rawlins interviewed Hipp at the sheriff’s office.
Initially, according to the affidavit, Hipp claimed that period in his life was a “dark time that he blocked out of his mind,” and said he could not remember if the alleged assaults had happened.
As the interview continued, Hipp reportedly told Rawlins “he was truly sorry for what had happened.”
He also claimed he “didn’t know better” and that he did not mean to hurt the victim.
“He just thought that was how a person showed affection for another,” the affidavit stated.
Rawlins said in the court documents that Hipp admitted to having the child perform sex acts multiple times.
Due to the victim being a minor at the time of the alleged offense, Arkansas law provides that a prosecution for rape can be commenced at any time.
After reviewing the documents, a judge found probable cause on Feb. 6 to arrest Hipp for rape, a Class Y felony.
Hipp is being held on a $10,000 cash-only bond awaiting a Feb. 12 court appearance.