A special judge is expected to be appointed to preside in the case of a Bryant couple accused of hindering apprehension in a child abuse case.
Brandon N. Sutton, 31, and 26-year-old Holly G. Sutton were scheduled Mondday to enter a plea before Saline County Circuit Judge Bobby McCallister, but McCallister and other local judges have recused from the case.
Saline County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rebecca Bush explained that no specified date has been set for naming the special judge. When that announcement is made, Brandon and Holly Sutton are then expected to return to court for a plea review.
Brandon and Holly Sutton each faces charges of hindering apprehension or prosecution. They were each arrested on Aug. 9 after being accused of permitting child abuse based on allegations of the alleged victim's mother. The mother reportedly contacted the Saline County Sheriff's Office and reported that her daughter had been molested multiple times by a 16-year-old boy.
"This reportedly occurred over a period of time of not less than a year," the sheriff's report said.
According to the report, the mother spoke to Brandon Sutton who allegedly "already knew about the sexual abuse." The report said the mother called a Child Abuse Hotline and told sheriff's detectives that she discovered that Brandon Sutton "knew about the sexual abuse since last September (2011)."
The report noted that the victim was taken to the Cooper Anthony Child Advocacy Center in Hot Springs, where a forensic interview was conducted. The victim reported that the sexual abuse began when she was age 5 and that often she and the alleged abuser were not supervised by an adult. The victim also reported that the alleged abuser took photographs of her.
Brandon and Holly Sutton each posted a $10,000 signature bond from the Saline County jail on Aug. 10.
Little Rock attorney Jeff Rosensweig is representing Brandon and Holly Sutton and the state is represented by Saline County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rebecca Bush.
The Saline Courier will continue to report this story as it develops.