Man accused of permitting child abuse

Man accused of permitting child abuse
Matthew Steven Jones (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A man is accused of permitting child abuse after police say he transported an underage girl to a Jonesboro motel to drink and have sex with a man.

Matthew Steven Jones, 27, of Jonesboro appeared Monday on a bench warrant before Craighead County District Judge Tommy Fowler.

According to a probable cause affidavit, on Jan. 15, a 15-year-old girl told a Child Advocacy Center investigator that Jones dropped her off at the Park Place Inn, 1421 S. Caraway. The victim said Jones is the boyfriend of one of her relatives.

The victim also alleged that Jones was aware that "she would be consuming alcohol and other drugs as well as having sex with an adult male."

Detective Ernest Ward with the Jonesboro Police Department stated that he contacted Jones several times by phone to discuss the matter and "he agreed to come to my office for an interview but has not come in."

On March 20, after reviewing the affidavit, Judge David Boling found probable cause to charge Jones with permitting child abuse, a Class B felony, and issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

Officers arrested Jones Friday afternoon and took him to the Craighead County Detention Center where he remains on a $3,500 cash/surety bond.

After setting his bond Monday, Judge Fowler ordered Jones to appear in circuit court on May 25. The judge also issued a no-contact order with the juvenile victim.

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