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Former Arkansas deputy pleads guilty to sexual assault, gets 6 years probation

By Maggie McNeary

This article was published May 5, 2017 at 5:20 p.m.

robert-retford-55-of-knoxville

Robert Retford, 55, of Knoxville


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A former Johnson County deputy pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual assault Thursday and was sentenced to six years of probation, according to court documents.

Robert G. Retford, 55, of Knoxville pleaded guilty to the Class C felony and must register as a sex offender, documents said. As part of his probation, Retford must have no contact with his victim, he must abstain from alcohol and controlled substances, and he must pay various court costs and fines.

In Retford’s arrest affidavit, dated November 2016, the victim told police that Retford said he was going to help her after meeting her while responding to a disturbance call in September 2016.

She said he touched her inappropriately on one occasion while he gave her a ride in his patrol car and made her touch him “with my hand over his pants.” She told interviewers that they could “just pull up the video from his car and see what happened.”

Retford confirmed to police that the two had been together in his patrol car but “stated that they had never had sex in the patrol car.”

The woman said Retford was wearing his uniform when he assaulted her at her friend’s house later in September.

“He told me if I ever said anything about it that he would kill me and throw all of my family members in jail,” she said in the affidavit.

The victim told officials that Retford used with “a black object like a flashlight or a baton” to sexually assault her. He also urinated on her, she said.

Retford told police that he and the victim had consensual sex and denied threatening her, according to court documents.

He was placed on paid administrative leave from the Johnson County sheriff’s office after it received a complaint about the assault in September, Arkansas Online reported. Retford was arrested in November.

The Arkansas State Police led the investigation against Retford because it was a potential conflict of interest, the sheriff’s office said.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Comments on: Former Arkansas deputy pleads guilty to sexual assault, gets 6 years probation

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titleist10 says... May 5, 2017 at 8:23 p.m.

Lock him up and no parole

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Razrbak says... June 4, 2017 at 1:12 p.m.

Retford was previously fired by three Arkansas Police Departments and he resigned from more, a move many police officers take when accused of a crime in a means to escape accountability and public disclosure. The Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training (CLEST) needs to be empowered to investigative public complaints about crooked law enforcement officers like Retford just like any other licensing agency is.

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