Arkansas man sentenced to 4 years in child-sex case

Posted: June 12, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

A man who fled Arkansas after being charged in a suspected 2016 Franklin County child-sex ring has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Cory Bryant Oxford, 26, of Van Buren was sentenced Friday in Franklin County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to one count of first-degree sexual assault. Two counts of rape and one count of transporting minors for prohibited sexual conduct were dismissed as part of a plea negotiation, according to court records.

Oxford was charged in a warrant in July 2016, but he fled the area after learning of the charges. The U.S. Marshals Service's Western Arkansas Fugitive Task Force worked with the Franklin County sheriff's office to track Oxford to North Dakota, where U.S. marshals arrested him in March.

Oxford was one of five men charged in the suspected child-sex ring that centered on Michael Ray Roe, 62, of Mulberry. Roe recruited four younger men to have sex with him and to transport boys to him for sex, according to arrest affidavits.

Roe was arrested in July 2016, pleaded guilty in May 2017 to sexual assault and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

In a separate case, he also pleaded guilty to transporting minors for prohibited sexual conduct, for which he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The two sentences were ordered to run consecutively for a total of 40 years in prison.

In addition to Oxford and Roe, three other men were charged in the case. Two pleaded guilty to felony charges and were given probation. Charges against the third man were dismissed.

State Desk on 06/12/2018