A Cotter man is charged with rape after an investigation concluded he had repeatedly violated a victim when they were a child.
William Leon Bardin, 62, was arrested Monday morning without incident at his home after the alleged victim — a young, female adult — told authorities Bardin had molested her when she was "5 or 6 years old," according to a news release from the Baxter County sheriff's office.
Investigators with the Arkansas State Police and the sheriff's office were able to arrest Bardin after they sent the victim into a secretly tape-recorded conversation with him, at which point Bardin admitted to the sexual activity, according to the release. The release added that during the conversation, Bardin said it would "never happen again."
Investigators discovered the activity happened in both Bardin's home and in an ice cream truck Bardin drove through various neighborhoods in the area.
Following Bardin's arrest, investigators interviewed Bardin's wife, Robin, who admitted the victim had come to her with the same allegations two years ago. She told investigators she didn't believe the victim's story and failed to report it to authorities. Authorities also interviewed 10 children that currently live at Bardin's residence.
Bardin is being held in the Baxter County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Thursday at 9 a.m.