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Three men recently received prison sentences after each pleaded guilty to felony charges in Saline County Circuit court.
One man pleaded guilty to drug charges and a sexual assault charge. Two others were charged with sexual crimes after meeting their victims at local churches.
Joey Harrington, 43, of Benton, pleaded guilty to several charges including sexual assault, felon in possession of a firearm, failure to appear in court and possession of methamphetamine with the intent to deliver. He was sentenced by Saline County Circuit Judge Grisham Phillips to a 30-year prison term.
In October of 2013, Benton police officers obtained a warrant for Harrington's arrest for allegedly selling methamphetamine from his residence. When officers came to his residence, they could not find him, but he eventually was located hiding underneath his trailer.
In court, Harrington also allegedly admitted that he touched a child inappropriately. As part of his sentence, he will have to register as a sex offender, said Saline County Procecuting Attorney Ken Casady.
Marcus Schenck, 31, of Benton entered a guilty plea to a sexual assault charge and was sentenced to serve 15 years with the Arkansas Department of Correction. Schenck reportedly befriended the victim at Woodland Hills Church.
The victim, who was 14 at the time, later spend the night at Schenck's residence, where they engaged in sexual intercourse, Casady said.
Gideon Gulledge, 23, of Little Rock was sentenced by Saline County Circuit Judge Gary Arnold to serve 10 years with the Arkansas Department of Correction followed by a 10-year suspended sentence for two counts of engaging children in sexually explicit activity.
Gulledge reportedly met his victims, who were 16 and 15, at East End Baptist Church. After becoming friends with them, he reportedly sent them inappropriate pictures of himself and asked for pictures in return. He also videoed both of the victims while they were washing themselves in the shower, according to court documents.
"Both of these individuals used their church relationships with these children to exploit them, which makes their conduct more abhorrent," Casady said. "Parents should be able to take their children to church without worrying about predators, but situations like these call for parents to never let their guard down," he said.