A husband and wife from Northwest Arkansas have been arrested on charges related to the sexual abuse of two young children, police said.
Douglas Jay Pershing, 54, of Bella Vista faces a charge of second-degree sexual assault, according to a news release.
Tamy Lynn Pershing, 46, is being held on a charge of failure to notify by a mandated reporter given her role as a teacher. She also faces a charge of endangering the welfare of a minor.
The Bella Vista Police Department was notified Aug. 10 of a sexual abuse investigation out of Henderson, Nev., involving a 4-year-old girl and her 2-year-old sister.
The victims’ parents were listed as family friends of the Pershings.
According to the affidavit, the 4-year-old said that Douglas Pershing, a science-fiction author, touched her inappropriately around 20 different times while she was at their Bella Vista home. The girl added that her sister had also been molested.
Pershing said that the older sister had seen him naked "several times" as he got dressed and got out of the shower.
When asked if the girl had ever touched his groin area, Pershing reportedly said: "I don't think so. I'm pretty sure. No, I don't think so."
Tamy Pershing, a sixth-grade language arts teacher at Arkansas Arts Academy in Rogers, reportedly walked in and noticed at least one act occurring, telling her husband to "stop and not do it again," the 4-year-old told authorities.
Both remained at the Benton County jail as of Friday evening, according to an online inmate roster. Douglas Pershing's bail has been set at $30,000. No bail was listed for Tamy Lynn Pershing.