JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro police say a man accused of offering a 15-year-old boy money to perform oral sex on him has done it before.
Craighead County District Judge David Boling found probable cause Wednesday to charge William Paul Jones with two counts of sexual solicitation of a minor.
The victim told police on Sept. 25 that Jones drove up to him as he waited on the corner of South Madison Street and Cherry Avenue for his parents.
The boy said the 47-year-old Jonesboro man stuck money out of the window and offered to pay him in exchange for oral sex.
When the boy's mom and dad pulled up, Jones sped away. The family chased him to an apartment complex on Nettleton Avenue and confronted him.
The boy's mom said Jones "began to cuss her and deny what had happened." But, when her son got out of their van, Jones sped off.
She told police the suspect—whom she did not know at the time—was driving a red Chevy Cavalier. She said the first three numbers on the license plate were 926.
The next day, Region 8 News broadcast the story on air and online, urging viewers to contact Crimestoppers if they could identify the suspect.
Almost immediately, according to the incident report, someone called in a tip saying that the vehicle was actually a Hyundai Elantra and provided police with the complete license plate number.
According to the report, the tipster said he recognized the car because "the male subject tried to pick him up before."
Detective Vic Brooks ran the license number and learned that the car was registered to Jones.
During his investigation, Brooks said he learned that Craighead County sheriff's deputies arrested Jones in 2010 on a similar charge.
Region 8 News requested and received that report. In it, a 29-year-old man claimed Jones asked if he could pay him to perform oral sex on him.
When the victim called him a derogatory name, Jones drove off with the man chasing him on his bicycle. Lt. Brett Duncan who was on patrol saw the chase and stopped Jones' car.
According to the 2010 incident report, Jones admitted to the sheriff's investigator that he had offered the man money for sex.
Duncan arrested Jones on suspicion of patronizing a prostitute and took him to the detention center. According to district court records, Jones later pleaded guilty to sexual solicitation.
With this information, Detective Brooks prepared two 8-person photo lineups and presented them to the 15-year-old victim and his mother.
According to the latest report, the boy identified Jones as the man who offered him money for sex and said that earlier in the summer Jones had tried to "get him over to his vehicle at a different location."
The boy's mother could not say for certain which man in the lineup was the one she confronted, but Brooks noted that she "looked very closely at the photo of William Paul Jones."
Brooks reviewed the case with Jessica Thomason of the city attorney's office, and a warrant was issued for Jones' arrest.
According to the incident report, two officers went to Jones' place of employment Tuesday afternoon and arrested him when he walked out the door.
On Wednesday, Jones appeared before Judge Boling via video court and pleaded not guilty to the Class A misdemeanor charge of sexual solicitation of a minor.
The judge, noting his prior arrest, set Jones' bond at $4,000 cash-only and told him to appear in court on Dec. 18 at 9 a.m.
If convicted, Jones could be sentenced to a year in the county jail and fined no more than $2,500.
The judge also issued a no-contact order with the victim.
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