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Arkansas Child Molestation Laws

Sex Offender Registry

Arkansas Sex Offender Search

Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect

Arkansas Ann. Code § 12-18-402 sets forth a long list of professionals who are required to report suspected child abuse and neglect (including sexual abuse) to authorities. These professionals include child care, daycare, and foster care providers; coroners; foster parents; judges; law enforcement officials; medical and mental health care providers; social workers; members of the clergy and other religious officials; and attorneys ad litem.

In addition, any person who has reasonable cause to suspect child maltreatment may make a report.

Reports must be made immediately. Failure to report may result in a misdemeanor or other penalties.

Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

Arkansas Ann. Code § 12-18-103 states that “sexual abuse” means:

  • By a person age 10 or older to a person younger than age 18:
    • Sexual intercourse, deviate sexual activity, or sexual contact by forcible compulsion
    • Attempted sexual intercourse, deviate sexual activity, or sexual contact by forcible compulsion
    • Indecent exposure
    • Forcing the watching of pornography or live sexual activity
  • By a person age 18 or older to a person not his or her spouse who is younger than age 16:
    • Sexual intercourse, deviate sexual activity, or sexual contact
    • Attempted sexual intercourse, deviate sexual activity, or sexual contact
  • By a caregiver to a person younger than age 18:
    • Sexual intercourse, deviate sexual activity, or sexual contact
    • Attempted sexual intercourse, deviate sexual activity, or sexual contact
    • Forcing or encouraging the watching of pornography
    • Forcing, permitting, or encouraging the watching of live sexual activity
    • Forcing the listening to a phone sex line
    • An act of voyeurism
  • By a person younger than age 10 to a person younger than age 18:
    • Sexual intercourse, deviate sexual activity, or sexual contact by forcible compulsion
    • Attempted sexual intercourse, deviate sexual activity, or sexual contact by forcible compulsion

“Sexual contact” means an act of sexual gratification involving:

  • Touching, directly or through clothing, the sex organs, buttocks, or anus of a person or the breast of a female
  • Encouraging of a child to touch the offender in a sexual manner
  • The offender requesting to touch a child in a sexual manner

“Sexual exploitation” means:

  • Allowing, permitting, or encouraging participation or depiction of the child in prostitution, obscene photography, or obscene filming
  • Obscenely depicting, posing, or posturing a child for any use or purpose

Arkansas Civil Statute of Limitations in Child Sexual Abuse Cases

Arkansas Ann. Code § 16-56-130(a) provides that civil claims must be filed within 3 years of the discovery of childhood sexual abuse.

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