Juries in Faulkner and Van Buren counties have convicted four men accused of child rape in the past three weeks.

“Although each was unique, all were cases of men abusing minor children,” from ages 2 to 16, Prosecuting Attorney Carol Crews said.

Advertisement

Crews is prosecutor for the 20th Judicial Circuit, which includes Faulkner, Van Buren and Searcy counties.

Is it unusual to see so many convictions for child sex abuse in such a short time?

Advertisement

Crews said in a text message today that it’s “probably abnormal that this many have gone to a jury trial in such rapid succession.”

“We saw increases in child abuse during COVID,” she said.

Advertisement

“These cases and sentences represent our commitment to the idea that if you choose to harm our children, we will make every effort to ensure you spend the rest of your life staring at the wall of a prison cell,” Crews said in a news release, which you can read here.

The Faulkner County defendants were Brian Lynch, Jonathan Flores and Ryan Vernon.

Advertisement

The Van Buren County defendant was Jimmy Taylor, sentenced Thursday night to life in prison for eight counts of rape.

A jury convicted Lynch of one count of rape and three counts of second-degree sexual assault. He was sentenced to life plus 60 years.

Advertisement

Flores was convicted of rape, residential burglary, attempted residential burglary and criminal mischief and was sentenced to 106 years in prison.

Vernon was convicted of rape and second-degree sexual assault and sentenced to a total of 40 years in prison.

Advertisement