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Rogers man accused of raping girl after arranging to have her smuggled into country

by Tracy Neal | October 21, 2021 at 7:01 a.m.

ROGERS -- A Rogers man is accused of arranging to have a teenage girl smuggled into the country and then raping her, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

Hector Figueroa-Vasquez, 36, was being held Wednesday in the Benton County Jail on a $100,000 bond. He was booked Oct. 9 into the Benton County Jail.

He was arrested in connection with three counts of rape. Prosecutors haven't filed formal charges against him.

Rogers police received information a 16-year-old girl had been kidnapped after crossing the border illegally and was being sexually abused, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Police were told the girl was at a home on North Second Street, was being physically and sexually abused by a man named "Melvin" and he would release her for $4,000, according to the affidavit.

Police went to the home and spoke with Figueroa-Vasquez and another person. Both denied knowing Melvin or the girl, according to the affidavit. Police found the girl, and she denied the allegations. She was placed in the custody of Arkansas Department of Human Services due to being an unaccompanied juvenile.

Police later received a report from the Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline the teen and another girl had been brought into the country illegally and were being sold for sex, according to the affidavit.

The teen was interviewed at the Child Safety Center in Springdale, and she described being abused by Melvin on three nights, according to the affidavit. She said he raped her and told her it was in exchange for bringing her to the city, according to the affidavit.

She reported Melvin paid someone to smuggle her into the country, pretended to be her father to get her out of the custody of immigration officials and brought her to Arkansas, according to the affidavit.

Police determined Figueroa-Vasquez was the person the girl knew as Melvin, according to the affidavit.

Figueroa-Vasquez denied raping the girl and claimed the girl's father had arranged for her to come into the country, according to the affidavit.

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