Rape suspect pleads guilty to lesser charge

Rape suspect pleads guilty to lesser charge

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A little more than two years after he sent a text message to someone saying that a 13-year-old girl performed a sex act on him, a man initially charged with rape pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

Circuit Judge Richard Lusby sentenced Jonathan Michael Sumner, 21, of Marked Tree to 120 days in jail with 60 months probation after Sumner agreed Monday to a negotiated guilty plea to second-degree sexual assault.

The judge also ordered Sumner to pay court fees and register as a sex offender. He also told Sumner to have no contact with the victim.

In October 2015, a witness contacted the Arkansas State University Police Department regarding a text received from Sumner.

According to documents presented in court at the time, Sumner alleged the 13-year-old victim had performed a sex act on him.

The witness also presented another text to UPD in which Sumner stated he had written a suicide note and "put it in her mailbox."

Investigators went to the girl's home and spoke with her and her mother.

"The victim's mother provided a handwritten note found on her property," the affidavit stated. In it, Sumner is alleged to have written, "I told everybody it was a lie. I love you. I'm about to end my life."

Later that afternoon, UPD responded to Sumner's campus residence regarding an attempted suicide. He was taken to a local hospital for screening. A-State removed him the following day from campus housing.

A university police investigator arrested Sumner later at his father's home in Harrisburg on suspicion of rape.

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