Man sentenced to 25 years in rape case

(Source: Greene Co. Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Greene Co. Sheriff's Office)(Greene Co. Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jun. 12, 2021 at 9:35 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 9:46 AM CDT
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PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - A Greene County man was given a 25-year prison sentence after a jury convicted him of five counts of rape involving a child, prosecutors said Saturday.

According to a media release from 2nd Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Keith Chrestman, Santiago Vasquez Jr., 41, of Paragould was on trial this week in Greene County Circuit Court in the rape case.

Vasquez was arrested by Paragould police in 2019. Authorities said at the time that the Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline received a report in late 2018 about Vasquez touching a child inappropriately.

“In late 2018, the Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline received a report about this victim. Several days after this report, a forensic interview of the child revealed at least five separate incidents that, under the Arkansas Criminal Code, constituted rape,” Chrestman said.

Chrestman said in the media release that the jury convicted Vasquez and that Circuit Judge Pam Honeycutt followed the jury’s recommendation, setting the 25-year sentence.

Chrestman also said prosecutors, Paragould police and authorities in Missouri played a key role in the investigation, leading to the conviction.

“Once again, (Deputy Prosecutor Robert) Thompson and (Deputy Prosecutor Adam) Butler have demonstrated their commitment to Greene County and the protection of its children. I couldn’t be more pleased with their work and continued willingness to serve,” Chrestman said.

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