A Jefferson County constable arrested on a rape charge Aug. 30 was released from the county detention center Thursday and will not be charged with the incident.
Thomas Eagle, 50, who is the constable of Melton Township, located in the Ladd community, was released because Chief Deputy Prosecutor Wayne Juneau said the statute of limitations had run out and Eagle could not be prosecuted.
Eagle had been accused of raping a then 11-year-old boy, and engaging in sexual contact with him until the boy was 16, Sheriff’s Sgt. Jennifer Carr said in a probable cause affidavit that was presented in court on Aug. 31. The victim is now 27.
Juneau said under state law that existed at the time the incident allegedly occurred, the statute of limitations ran six years from the time of the victim’s 18th birthday if the alleged incident had never been reported before, meaning that it would have run out when the victim reached the age of 24.
Last year, the Arkansas General Assembly changed the law and increased the time to allow victims up to the age of 28 but Juneau said Eagle would have had to be charged under the old statute.
After Eagle was arrested, a man in his mid-40s contacted sheriff’s office investigators and also reported that he had allegedly been raped by Eagle when he was a youngster, but Major Lafayette Woods Jr. said investigators determined that the man had allegedly been the victim of two batteries instead.
Eagle was not a constable at the time of the alleged incidents.