Jury gives 30 years to convicted child rapist

Jury gives 30 years to convicted child rapist

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Scott Ellington, District Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District of Arkansas, announces that a Jonesboro man convicted of raping a minor child who was in his custody will spend the next 30 years in prison after jurors found him guilty early Saturday morning.

Ellington said that Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Gina Knight charged Richard Raymond Ressler, 47, 1210 Haltom St., Jonesboro, of rape and tried him before a Craighead County jury for two and a half days. Jurors took the case Friday afternoon and deliberated late into the night until 1 a.m. Saturday before returning a guilty verdict, arriving at a 30-year prison sentence at about 2 a.m. Circuit Judge Victor Hill of West Memphis followed the jury's recommendation and ordered Ressler to serve 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

"If a person chooses to violate the innocence of a child, we are here to hold them accountable and they will pay the consequences," Ellington said. "We are grateful for this jury's verdict that will give this victim much needed peace, justice, and, hopefully, will allow her to begin healing."

The victim, now 19 years old, testified that Ressler began abusing her as a child when she was age six and it continued until she was 17. The victim reported the abuse to the Jonesboro Police Department July 28, 2014.

Ellington praised Knight, Jonesboro Police Detective Shay Racy and the Jonesboro Police Department for aggressive work prosecuting the case. He also expressed gratitude to the jurors for their decision.

"Ms. Knight did an outstanding job prosecuting this case built by Det. Racy," Ellington said. "I appreciate their efforts in resolving this case and assisting this victim obtain the closure she that she has longed for. We are satisfied with the jury's decision."

Hill ordered Ressler remanded to the custody of Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd to await transport to the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

Region 8 News will have more information as details emerge. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for up to the minute updates.

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