BENTONVILLE — A Bentonville man is accused of raping a 3-year-old girl, authorities said.
Tristan Nathaniel Tiarks, 33, was being held Sunday in the Benton County jail with bail set at $500,000. He was arrested on preliminary charges of aggravated assault, second-degree battery and rape.
Bentonville police arrested Tiarks after searching his home, according to a probable cause affidavit.
A nurse at the Mercy Medical Hospital Emergency Center in Bella Vista reported to investigators Friday morning that the girl was brought there with injuries from a suspected sexual assault, according to the affidavit.
The girl was later interviewed at the Children's Advocacy Center of Benton County, where she said Tiarks had wrapped a green towel around her neck which made her not able to breathe, according to the affidavit.
The girl's medical examination revealed linear marks around her that indicated she had been strangled, the affidavit states. An examination also found evidence associated with sexual assault, according to the affidavit.
The girl's mother told police she left her daughter with Tiarks for about 45 minutes while she went to the store, according to the affidavit.
Tiarks' arraignment is scheduled for 8 a.m. Feb. 19.
Tiarks was ordered not to have any contact with the girl or her family members.