Man arrested, charged with rape, trafficking, and aggravated assault

John Ellis Jefferson Sanders (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Office)
John Ellis Jefferson Sanders (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Office)((Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Office))
Published: May. 29, 2019 at 2:25 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A Jonesboro man was arrested on several sex-related charges and aggravated assault Tuesday night.

According to a Jonesboro police report, 33-year-old John Ellis Jefferson Sanders was arrested near the Cedar Heights area after police were called about an assault.

A probable cause affidavit states that Jonesboro police responded to a call on Tuesday night to the Citgo gas station on Johnson Avenue in reference to an assault.

The victim was standing outside the store, crying, and talking with a University Police Department officer.

The victim told police she could not hear because Sanders hit her several times with a closed fist.

She also told police she was choked until she blacked out.

“The victim told officers that suspect John Ellis turned the music up in the apartment so the neighbors couldn’t hear and the punched her, choked her, and also beat her with a belt,” the affidavit stated.

The victim told police that Sanders was mad that she did not sell her body that night.

“She stated that Sanders made he have sex with his friends so that he would have money to spend on meth,” the affidavit stated.

The victim was asked if this was the first time this has happened in which she answered that it also happened on May 21.

She told police that Sanders would have his friends come over to have sex with her and then pay Sanders.

Police asked if Sanders had sex with her before things got violent, and she said he did.

“She stated that she did not want to have sex with Sanders but he told her that the man controls the household and that if she told him no that he would beat her up,” the affidavit stated.

She was taken to a local hospital to be examined.

The officer at the hospital advised that Sanders may be in the Cedar Heights area when another officer spotted him around midnight at the intersection of Marshall and Cedar Heights.

As Sanders was arrested, he told the officer that he “didn’t put his hands on her.”

During an interview, Sanders admitted to hitting the victim and having sex, but denied making her have sex with other people.

A judge found probable cause to charge Sanders with rape, trafficking of a person, and aggravated assault.

Judge Tommy Fowler set Sanders’ bond at $200,000, and ordered him not to have any contact with the victim. He’s due back in court on June 28.

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