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09/23/2013

62 Year Old Rural Cotter Area Man Arrested For Rape

William Leon Bardin

Ice Cream Truck

     A rural Cotter man, 62 year old WILLIAM LEON BARDIN, was arrested at approximately 9:45 AM this morning at his residence after investigators obtained a bench warrant for the felony crime of Rape.  The arrest follows a two week long investigation by the Arkansas State Police and the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office.

     The investigation came about after a young female adult contacted Arkansas State Police Investigator Becky Vacco and alleged she had been molested by Bardin since she was 5 or 6 years old.  The victim alleged this continued over a period of years and the conduct occurred at the home and in the ice cream truck that BARDIN drives in neighborhoods throughout the area.

     The Arkansas State Police and the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office began the investigation into the allegations. During the course of the investigation, Investigators arranged for the victim to wear a miniature recording device and meet with Bardin. During the meeting Bardin admitted to Deviate Sexual Activity with the victim when she was a child and promised it would never happen again.

     On Monday, September 23, 2013 at approximately 9:30 AM, Investigators and Sheriff’s Deputies with the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police, Crimes Against Children’s Division (CACD) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) went to the residence on CR174, Cotter Arkansas and took William Bardin into custody without incident. Interviews were conducted on Bardin’s wife, Robin and ten (10) children who lived in the home. Robin Bardin admitted to investigators that the victim had come to her with the allegations approximately 2 years earlier but stated she did not believe the victim and did not report the allegation to law enforcement or to the Child Abuse Hot Line.

     The investigation is continuing with more interviews scheduled. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office at 425-7000.      

William Leon Bardin, age 62 is charged with:

Rape          Class Y Felony

Bond was set by the Persecutor’s Office at $50,000 and he is currently being held in the Baxter County Detention Center pending his appearance in Baxter County Circuit Court on September 26th at 9 AM.

Sheriff John Montgomery

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