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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Fifty-two year-old Fort Smith resident draws 30-year sentence on Class Y Felony rape charge

A 52-year-old Fort Smith man will spend the better part of the next few decades in prison after a plea deal in Sebastian County circuit court on Wednesday saw him sentenced to 30 years in prison on sex crime related charges.

Kenneth James Shappard, whose last known address with the court was in a motel in Fort Smith, drew the sentence today after being charged with a Class Felony Rape of a Guardian or relative.

Details of the case are sketchy as much of the information from the indictment has been redacted to protect the victims. During the sentencing, Shepherd was enjoined from having unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18 and was ordered to have no contact with the victim(s).

According to information from Arkansas Court connect Shappard was initially arrested on the charges stemming from an incident in 2019. For some reason the case was listed with inactive status on October 25, 2022 .

According to an incident report from officers who made the arrest at a hotel at 5103 Towson avenue, Shepherd was arrested on a warrant from out of county. That arrest was made on October 26, 2022 one day after the case showed inactive status on Arkansas Court Connect.

The timing of the arrest, coupled with the incidents occurring all the way back in 2019, indicates the victims came forth possibly after he was arrested in October.

The 30-year term was part of a plea deal made in this morning's court session. in

to the imposed term he was given an additional ten years suspended.

Shappard will remain in custody of the Sebastian County Sheriff's Office until he is transferred to the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

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