Former resident found guilty of sexual assault

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By Quinton Bagley

Little River News

George Burns, 70, of Taylor, Ark., formerly of Ashdown, was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault in the fourth degree, a Class D Felony, for a series of incidents that occurred in 2014 involving a minor following a jury trial at the Little River County Courthouse on Wednesday, May 1.

According to an affidavit filed in the Little River County Circuit Clerk’s Office, the minor told her stepmother that Burns had raped her three years earlier when she spent the night with Burns and his wife at their home on Old Millwood Road near Ashdown.

The stepmother didn’t believe the minor so in the days following, the minor told her grandmother, who then told the minor’s father.

The minor’s father and stepmother, along with the stepmother’s sister and brother-in-law, traveled to Burns’ home in Taylor to confront him about the allegations. Burns denied having sex with the minor but stated he fondled the minor’s breasts while she pleasured herself on two occasions.

The minor told Sgt. Brandon Kennemore with the Little River County Sheriff’s Office that the first occurrence took place while on a trip with Burns to Mena. The minor stated that she woke up and Burns had his hand down her pants. She told Kennemore that she tried to push him away but it did no good.

The minor went ahead to tell Kennemore that the second time was at the Burns’ residence on Old Millwood Road when she and her sister was spending the night. The minor stated that Burns came into the room where she and her sister were sleeping and forced himself on her.

Burns was arrested in August 2017 and originally charged with two counts of rape of a minor.

Burns was sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison, a $20,000 fine plus court cost.