Editor’s Note: This story contains graphic content. Additionally, a woman’s name has been left out in order to protect the victim’s identity.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A man and woman charged in a Fayetteville sex abuse case involving a child have pleaded not guilty.
Michael Henson, 51, was arrested Sept. 8.
A preliminary report from the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office says that on Sept. 8, a 13-year-old male victim disclosed that Henson had been sexually abusing him since he was 10 years old.
The report states that the victim told police that Henson performed oral sex on him, and that the two had mutually masturbated each other since the victim was 10.
After Henson was taken into custody, he was read his rights and agreed to speak to police. He reportedly stated that the victim had been truthful and confessed to the sexual abuse acts.
Henson was transported to the Washington County Detention Center and booked on one count of rape and three counts of second-degree sexual assault.
During the investigation, police learned that the victim told a woman about the abuse over two months prior to the interview at the safety center.
The woman told police that the victim told her about the sexual abuse and stated she should not have lied to the police. She stated that she threw Henson out of the house but allowed him back in the house after two days.
According to prosecutors, Henson still had access to the victim despite the woman’s knowledge of the alleged abuse.
The woman was arrested on Sept. 8 on one count of permitting child abuse.
Henson and the woman both have jury trials scheduled for March 29, 2024, in Washington County.