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story.lead_photo.caption Jose Rufino Garcia-Chicol

BENTONVILLE -- A Siloam Springs man received a life sentence Friday for raping a 10-year-old girl.

A jury found Jose Rufino Garcia-Chicol, 34, guilty of rape last week and recommended the life prison sentence.

Circuit Judge Brad Karren followed the jury's recommendation.

The case began in December 2017 when the girl's mother took her to the Siloam Springs Police Department concerning a sexual abuse complaint. The mother reported that her 6-year-old daughter saw Garcia-Chicol kissing her 10-year-old sister.

The Children's Advocacy Center interviewed the older girl and she described being touched inappropriately by Garcia-Chicol.

The girl, who is now 11, and her younger sister testified during the trial.

Garcia-Chicol testified and denied ever having any sexual contact with the girl.

"A man's abuse of a child is among the most repugnant and evil acts imaginable," Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith said

Garcia-Chicol's criminal cases may not be over. He's also charged with rape, sexual assault and tampering in another case involving the same girl.

Smith said they have decided whether to proceed with the second case against Garcia-Chicol.

"We will have to discuss it with the victim's family and will make a decision soon." Smith said.

NW News on 10/04/2018

Print Headline: Man sentenced to life in prison for rape

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