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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Rape of five-year-old girl sends Van Buren reprobate to prison with a life sentence

A Van Buren pervert who has been in the Crawford County Detention Center since July of last year on a $350,000 bond after the rape of a juvenile family member has been sentenced to life in prison in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

Thirty-three year-old Devon Gene Romick, who lived in the 1200 block of North 24th Street in Van Buren, was convicted of the crime of rape by Crawford County jury on Monday and sentence the same day by Judge Mark McClune.

According to paperwork obtained through Arkansas Court connect, Romick was arrested July 12, 2023 following a call to Van Buren Police by the mother of a 5-year-old girl who discovered Romick "masturbating" in the presence of the child. The child told her mother at the time of the incident that she "did not want to make Dad happy anymore".

The victim later told police during a forensic interview that Romick had sexual contact with her on more than one occasion.

Romick, who is the biological father of the child, was arrested that night.

He was initially charged with rape and has remained in the Crawford County Detention Center since the day of his arrest.

Romick told police that he had become aroused while watching a program on television while the victim and another child were in the residence. The mother had gone to pick up a relative and came back into the house to retrieve an energy drink when she found Roman and the child in the bedroom.

In August of last year the court ordered a mental evaluation for Romick. The attending psychologist deemed him fit to stand trial.

 After approximately six months of motions and counter motions by the prosecutor's office and Romex defense attorney, the issue was brought before a jury on Monday enrollment was found guilty and sentence to the ADC.

As of Wednesday afternoon at 6:00 p.m. Romick remained jailed in the Crawford County Detention Center awaiting transfer to the Arkansas Department of Corrections for his prison assignment.

Crawford County Prosecutor Kevin Holmes released the following statement on social media concerning the conviction:

"Deputy Prosecutor Lena Pinkerton and Chief Deputy Will Cosner presented the case for the State and clearly did a masterful job. It was great work by the Van Buren Police Department with the assistance of the Hamilton Child Safety Center and other agencies. Our Paws for Justice Advocate Ari has been working overtime and provided comfort for this little girl.

We will continue to fight to protect our community and families against these monsters."

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