Texarkana, Ark., man accused of rape, sexual assault of a child

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A 51-year-old Texarkana man is facing charges in Miller County for allegedly sexually abusing two young female relatives.

Michael Sweeten is currently free on a $50,000 bond. He is accused of raping and sexually assaulting two female relatives, now ages 12 and 17, according to probable cause affidavits. The girls were both interviewed at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Texarkana in June.

The youngest alleged victim reported that she was spending the night at Sweeten’s home on Garden Street in Texarkana, Ark., last year when he touched her inappropriately for the first time. The girl said Sweeten waited until his wife had gone to work and other children were occupied before locking the two of them in a bedroom. The girl said Sweeten touched and raped her in 2015 and that he forced her to touch him this year.

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The second alleged victim, now 17, reportedly told a forensic interviewer at CAC that Sweeten began molesting her when she was just five or six years old. The older alleged victim came forward after the allegations surrounding the younger girl surfaced.

The older girl was, “very emotional and reluctant to talk at times. She cried often and expressed guilt over not telling anyone sooner,” the affidavit states.

Sweeten has been charged with five felonies. He is facing one charge of rape and two counts of second-degree sexual assault which allegedly occurred in 2015 in connection with the younger alleged victim and two counts of second-degree sexual assault in connection with the older alleged victim.

Sweeten faces five to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000 on each of the sexual assaults. If convicted of rape, Sweeten faces ten to 40 years or life in prison. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell signed off on formal charges against Sweeten this week. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Brent Haltom. Sweeten posted bond Aug. 9. Court records show he was arrested June 28.

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