In Newport, Arkansas, a man has been condemned for physically molesting a child under the age of 14.
52-year-old Donald James was convicted by an Independence County jury to 150 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections. He was charged on five counts of physical molestation of a child under the age of 14.
A judge ordered that the different sentences for each of the five charges, all Class Y felonies, should run consecutively, indicating that James will serve 150 years on all charges.
The 3-day trial was carried in Independence County Circuit Court in Batesville and started on Nov. 6 and ended late afternoon on Nov. 8. The jury thought for nearly 2 hours before arriving on a decision. The defendant refused to testify in his own defence.
A press release states that the many assaults occurred in 2014 and 2015 in Donald’s house in Oil Trough, in Independence County.
The child, now 15, was 9-year-old at the time the assaults started. She is reportedly the niece of Donald James. The child came forward regarding the abuse in 2018 when she revealed the abuse to a school teacher.
Family members, both younger and older than the victim, who claimed for the prosecution, told “Uncle DJ” made them seem uncomfortable and detailed incidents of inappropriate touching.
Other family members claimed in defence of James, stating that nothing improper ever occurred. All told that both of the James’ houses in Independence County and later in Jackson County, were places where cook-outs and swim parties were popular with adults and children.
Donald James is being held with no bond.