Cave Springs man sentenced to 40 years in prison for rape

Posted: October 27, 2017 at 1:07 a.m.

John Virgil Britt

BENTONVILLE -- John Virgil Britt, 34, of Cave Springs was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years in prison for raping a 14-year-old girl.

Britt was arrested Dec. 7, 2016.

The girl testified Tuesday and told jurors about being sexually abused by Britt. She told police she was sleeping on a couch when Britt raped her, according to a court document.

Britt took the stand during the trial and denied ever having sexual contact with the girl.

Sam Hall, one of Britt's attorneys, told jurors the case boiled down to whether they believed Britt's testimony, and if they believed him they should find his client not guilty.

Carly Marshall, deputy prosecutor, said Britt took advantage of the girl while she was sleeping and urged jurors to find him guilty of rape.

The panel deliberated on Britt's punishment for several hours Wednesday afternoon after finding him guilty.

Circuit Judge Brad Karren followed the jury's recommendation Britt serve 40 years in prison. Britt must serve 28 years before he's eligible for parole and will be required to register as a sex offender.

"We are pleased with the jury's decision and grateful for their service," Marshall said. "We are glad that the defendant is being held accountable for his actions and hopeful that this will give the victim some peace and comfort."

NW News on 10/27/2017