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Russellville man sentenced to 18 years in prison for internet stalking

by Tracy Neal | August 27, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.

BENTONVILLE -- A Russellville man was sentenced to 18 years in prison after admitting he arranged to meet someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl.

John Escovedo, 53, pleaded guilty Thursday to internet stalking of a child. The plea was under an agreement Ray Spruell, Escovedo's attorney, reached with Tyler Hawkins, a Benton County deputy prosecutor.

Escovedo was arrested Sept. 7.

His arrest came after the Truckers Against Predators Association notified Lowell police about Escovedo's arrangement to meet an underage girl at Workman's Truckstop in Lowell, according to probable cause affidavits.

An employee for the association emailed chats between Escovedo and the decoy, according to the affidavit. Escovedo said he wanted to have sex with the girl and asked sexually explicit questions.

Police arrested him at the truck stop. He told police he was meeting an underage girl there, according to an affidavit.

Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green accepted the plea agreement and Escovedo's guilty plea.

Escovedo will be required to register as a sex offender and complete a sex offender treatment program. The judge ordered Escovedo not to have any unsupervised contact with minors.

Print Headline: Russellville man sentenced to 18 years in prison for Internet stalking


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