Pro­ceed­ings sus­pended in sex­ual as­sault case

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - TRACY M. NEAL Tracy M. Neal can be reached by email at tneal@nwaon­ or Twit­ter @NWATracy.

BEN­TONVILLE — A judge granted a men­tal eval­u­a­tion Fri­day for a for­mer Arkansas Depart­ment of Hu­man Ser­vices em­ployee ac­cused of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a 4-yearold girl.

The eval­u­a­tion is needed, his at­tor­ney said, be­cause Jorge Al­con used mem­ory sup­ple­ments.

Al­con, 71, is charged with sec­ond-de­gree sex­ual as­sault, a felony pun­ish­able with a pri­son sen­tence rang­ing from five to 20 years. He pleaded not guilty and is free on $75,000 bond.

Jay Martin, one of Al­con’s at­tor­neys, told Ben­ton County Cir­cuit Judge Brad Karen on Fri­day he learned last month Al­con was tak­ing sup­ple­ments for his mem­ory.

Martin re­quested a men­tal eval­u­a­tion to de­ter­mine whether Al­con is fit to stand trial and to de­ter­mine whether he was crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble in 2015 at the time when he’s ac­cused of com­mit­ting the crime.

Kar­ren sus­pended pro­ceed­ings and or­dered Al­con to un­dergo a men­tal eval­u­a­tion. A men­tal sta­tus hear­ing is sched­uled for 8: 30 a. m. Oct. 10. Al­con’s jury trial was sched­uled for Aug. 15, but Kar­ren post­poned it be­cause of the eval­u­a­tion.

Al­con is charged with sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a fos­ter child in 2015. Ben­tonville po­lice be­gan to in­ves­ti­gate in Oc­to­ber 2015 af­ter the girl told her fos­ter par­ents she didn’t want to go on her vis­i­ta­tions be­cause she didn’t want to see Al­con, ac­cord­ing to a prob­a­ble cause af­fi­davit. Al­con was a pro­gram as­sis­tant for Hu­man Ser­vices and pro­vided trans­porta­tion and su­per­vi­sion for the girl’s vis­i­ta­tions.

The girl was in­ter­viewed at the Chil­dren’s Ad­vo­cacy Cen­ter of Ben­ton County where she gave de­tails of be­ing abused by Al­con, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit.

Al­con was in­ter­viewed by po­lice and de­scribed the girl as the ag­gres­sor of any con­tact be­tween the two.

Al­con was hired in 2000. He passed fed­eral and state back­ground checks, as well as checks of the child and adult mal­treat­ment reg­istries, said Amy Webb, a spokesman for the Depart­ment of Hu­man Ser­vices. Al­con also un­der­went and passed pe­ri­odic back­ground checks, she said.


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