Highfill’s mayor arrested in connection with sex crimes with teen girl
BENTONVILLE — Stacy Digby resigned as Highfill’s mayor shortly before being arrested March 28 in connection with sex crimes involving a teen. Digby, 44, was arrested in connection with sexual assault and sexual indecency with a child.
Bond was set at $60,000 for the former Highfill mayor accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl. Rogers District Judge Chris Griffin set Digby’s bond Thursday and ordered him not to have any contact with the girl. Digby’s arraignment is scheduled for May 7 in Circuit Judge Robin Green’s courtroom.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office issued a news release in January that Digby was being investigated for having an inappropriate relationship with a teen.
Highfill Police Chief Blake Webb said in January his department started the investigation before sending it to the sheriff’s office.
The case started after some residents and members of Highfill United Methodist Church expressed concern about Digby’s relationship with a 17-year-old girl, according to a probable cause affidavit. One person reported seeing the girl sitting in Digby’s lap at a bowling alley and a police officer saw Digby with the girl at 1 a.m. in his office, according to the affidavit.
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County interviewed the girl and she denied Digby ever inappropriately touched her or there was any physical attraction between them, according to court documents.
A friend of Digby’s told detectives of a conversation she had with Digby after officers searched his home, according to the affidavit. Digby told the friend he and the girl began having sex when she was 12 or 13 years old and he had been getting photographs from the girl for years, according to the affidavit.
The girl then told detectives she and Digby had a sexual relationship, according to the affidavit. The teen said they had sex for the first time when she turned 16, at Digby’s home, according to the affidavit.
The teen said they sent nude photographs to each other, according to court documents.
Detectives discovered a photograph showing a nude man’s hand concealing his genitals, but the face isn’t in the photo, according to the affidavit. The image had text saying, “How bad do you want it.” Detectives believe the photograph was taken at Digby’s home, according to the affidavit.
In a March 28 letter, Digby stated his resignation was effective immediately. He thanked the city for allowing him to serve and spoke of the financial difficulties confronting the town when he first took office and of the muchimproved outlook for the city today.
Digby was elected in 2010 and was nearing the end of his second term. The council will meet April 13 to either select someone to serve the rest of Digby’s term or call for a special election to fill the vacancy.