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Man Gets 40 Years for Sexual Assault on 2 Year Old

January 26th, 2009 by

Information contained in this report is taken from the Ashley County Ledger’s printed edition.  It’s is included on MonticelloLive.com at the request of one of the victim’s grandparents.  Both sets of grandparents live in the Monticello area. 

———————————————-

An Ashley County Jury consisting of four men and eight women convicted Steven Wayne McDougald, 45, of kidnaping and second degree sexual assault in circuit court before Tenth Judicial District Circuit Judge Sam Pope, recently. Judge Pope imposed the jury’s recommended sentence of two 20 year sentences in the Arkansas Department of Correction to be served consecutively.”Justice was done,” deputy prosecutor David Cason said. “The jury worked hard, searched their hearts and levied a good penalty.”McDougald, sentenced Thursday as a habitual offender with four prior unrelated convictions, was charged in the March 30, 2008, kidnaping and assault of a two-year-old Ashley County resident.

The victim’s mother testified that on the date of the incident, she, her children and husband attended a friend’s cook-out. During the gathering, she stated McDougald asked her husband if he could take the toddler for a loop around the yard on a four-wheeler. Although the father agreed, McDougald left the area with the toddler without parental consent, and he was located in a wooded area an hour and a half later near a deer camp in the Fountain Hill area. She further testified that a number of calls were made to McDougald’s cell phone when she and her husband realized the two had left the area.

The child’s father testified that the first time he called McDougald was about thirty minutes after he allowed his child to ride the ATV with McDougald. In that call, he said, McDougald stated he was on his way back. However, when he did not return, a second call was placed with McDougald stating he was lost. He further testified that a third call to McDougald’s cell was not answered and that he, with assistance from the hostess’ father, searched the area on ATVs and found the two near a creek.

Law enforcement officers were contacted later that day after the child told her parents McDougald had touched her inappropriately. Det. Guy Hughes, chief investigator/captain with the Ashley County Sheriff’s Office, testified that the child’s clothing and oral swab samples taken from the toddler and McDougald, collected, packaged and sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab. Additional testimony presented by the state included three expert witnesses who conducted tests and analysis on the evidence collected by Hughes.

Stacie Wassell, a forensic examiner with the Arkansas state crime lab, testified that while no traces of blood or semen were found on the toddler’s clothing that she took three cuttings from the child’s panties that fluoresced beneath a laser light. Wassell explained that the light is used to identify the presence of otherwise unseen body fluids. Those samples, she stated were retained for further testing.

Jennifer Beaty, forensic DNA examiner with the state crime lab, testified that she received three cuttings taken by Wassell and that testing revealed the presence of a Y chromosome (females have two X chromosomes while males have one X and one Y chromosome). Beaty further stated that when the chromosome was compared to DNA taken from McDougald that he was not excluded.

In cross-examination by public defender Daren Nelson, Beaty testified that on average one in two randomly chosen males would be expected to be included while 51 percent of males would be excluded. Beaty further testified that the chromosome was more than likely left behind by skin cells. She also noted that the crime lab does not test for saliva and that sweat does not contain skin cells.

During redirect by Cason, Beaty said while no samples were found on the toddler’s outer clothing, the individual that left the chromosome evidence would have to have physical contact with the garment.

Chris Glaze, Codis DNA examiner with the crime lab, testified that he conducted separate tests focusing on the Y chromosome identified and extracted by Beaty. Using Codis, a Combined DNA Index System, he developed a profile on the chromosome and compared it to 3,561 samples in the Codis database and to McDougald’s. Glaze stated that McDougald matched in all 17 areas. He further testified that the results meant that it [the chromosome] was either that of McDougald or a paternal male relative.

In closing arguments Cason stated that although McDougald claimed he was lost that the only set of tracks found the following day by one of the state’s witnesses where those that led to the area where McDougald was found. “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, it’s probably a duck,” Cason said.

Nelson told jurors in closing that the victim’s clothing along with the oral swabs collected from the child and McDougald were placed in packages that were then compressed inside an envelope. “Maybe there is some contamination,” Nelson said.

Cason counter argued that if it was a case of contamination as suggested by the defense then there would be no question of it belonging to the defendant. Instead, he reminded jurors, Glaze testified that it was either the defendant’s or that of a paternal male relative.

The case was handed to jurors for deliberations at 3:47 p.m. with the guilty verdicts rendered half an hour later.”

Tell us [the community and county] what happens to a man that does that to a 2-year-old child,” Cason said before jurors went into deliberations to consider sentencing in the case.”Are we saying his life is so worthless we’ll throw him in jail and forget about him,” Nelson asked.Jurors deliberated 15 minutes before returning with the sentence recommendation. The sentence was then imposed by Judge Pope who denied an appeal bond in the case and ordered McDougald to the custody of the sheriff’s office. McDougald will remain in the custody of the sheriff until he is transferred to the Arkansas Department of Correction to begin serving his sentence.

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11 Responses to “Man Gets 40 Years for Sexual Assault on 2 Year Old”

  1. Anne Forrest says:

    thank God for the grandparent that wanted this published here so people from other areas can see it and keep their babies away from this man. I personally am a mother and grandmother and would never have known about it and it is a great blessing to be aware of this. I have family in the crossett area and pray they never encounter this man or anyone like him. Keep up the good work Joe.

  2. trottergirl says:

    Good job Ashley county, let hime rot in jail.

  3. MM says:

    Now that’s some justice! I’m proud of the jury in this case! Bravo!

    I’ve seen numerous other cases very similar to this in which the defendant was proven guilty and sentenced to probation. We need more judges/juries to send the message that this type of behavior deserves more than just a slap on the hand!

  4. A mother says:

    This is soooo disturbing! The law needs to be more strict in cases like this. He needs to be tortured and thrown to the wolves! He makes me SICK!!! To sexually assault anyone is sick but a helpless baby!!! My stomach turns when I hear that someone could even think thoughts like this much less act upon them!!!!

  5. Monica says:

    This story completely sickens me! I feel so sorry for that little girl and her parents! I couldn’t imagine at all what they must have gone through!!!!!! Being a parent myself, I don’t think I could gain the composure to keep from harming this man!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully someone in prison will.

  6. He should have gotten life! There are some SICK peoples in this world today. As for the patents of the two year old I’m sorry that happen to your child but; I applaud you for teaching your child when someone touch him/her in a inappropriate way. They need to tell someone. I will keep you and your little one in my prayers!!

  7. trottergirl says:

    Monica, I TOTALLY agree with you!!!!!!! My heart couldn’t take it, I would seriously hurt or do worse to this…..person

  8. Anna says:

    I agree that justice was partially done here. He should have gotten either more time or the death sentence. This little child will have a long road of healing because of this scum. But rest assurred that in prison child molestors get a sentence the juries can’t give. His hell will be a long 40 years. He desearves that and more.

  9. Candide says:

    Take heart… prison is not kind to child molestors. Not kind at all.

  10. Mandy says:

    My love and prayers for the family of this precious little girl. To say this is a horrible tragedy just does not do the situation justice. I am so proud to see that the court system did work this time and he is getting at least a bit of what he deserves. Someone with the issues this monster has should never be allowed out of prison to harm someone else.

    Thank you to the family for being so brave and seeing justice served and sharing this with others. Being open about such awful things can help someone else save their child from the evil people of this world.

  11. a mad mother. says:

    Im sorry for you as parents and for your little girl ,but i do belive he should be hung from the hightest tree. and i hope he get his in prison. ill keep you in my prayers.

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