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story.lead_photo.caption Virgil Nathan Oliver

BENTONVILLE -- A Bentonville man was sentenced Wednesday to 55 years in prison for sexually abusing a girl.

A jury found Virgil Nathan Oliver, 40, guilty of rape and sexual assault. The panel found Oliver not guilty of witness bribery.

He was arrested Jan. 5, 2018 as result of an investigation by Bentonville police.

A 26-year-old woman testified Oliver sexually abused her as a child.

Prosecutors also called a 16-year-old girl as a witness who testified Oliver began sexually abusing her when she was 9-years-old.

Oliver didn't testify during the trial.

The jury recommended Oliver serve 35 years for rape and 20 years for sexual assault. The panel also recommended the sentences be served consecutively and Oliver pay a $10,000 fine.

Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green followed the jury's recommendation. He will have to serve at least 28 years before he will be eligible for parole.

Oliver will be required to register as a sex offender.

He was ordered not to have any contact with the teen. He was also ordered not to have any unsupervised contact with any minors.

The bribery charge concerned an accusation that Oliver had offered the girl $10,000 in an attempt to influence her testimony. Oliver was acquitted of the charge even though prosecutors played a recording of Oliver discussing the offer with relatives

Oliver is also facing another sexual assault charge in connection with the 16-year-old girl. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge. He is facing from five to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charge.

NW News on 03/15/2019

Print Headline: Man sentenced to 55 year or sex crimes

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