Lowell policeman fired, then arrested on sex abuse charges

Roy Mitchell
Roy Mitchell

LOWELL -- Arkansas State Police on Thursday arrested Lowell Police Officer Roy Eugene Mitchell, 45, on two counts of second-degree sexual assault.

The Lowell Police Department terminated Mitchell immediately before his arrest, the state police announcement of the arrest said and the Lowell Police Department confirmed.

The two victims were both minors, said Matt Durrett, Washington County's prosecuting attorney.

"There's no indication it extends beyond those two particular victims," Durrett said. The victims' parents have been notified, he said.

The charges are for improper contact, not rape, Durrett said and court documents show. The first count alleges that between Jan. 1 and Sept. 21, Mitchell "engaged in sexual contact with another person" who is younger than 14 years.

The second count dates back to between Feb. 16, 2017 and Feb. 15, 2018. In that count Mitchell is accused of having sexual contact with another minor.

Mitchell has not served as a school resource officer in the Rogers School District this year, said Jason Ivester, district director of communications. Mitchell had served at Tucker Elementary in the past, Ivester said.

Mitchell joined the Lowell Police Department in June 2020, according to the department's Facebook page. This was years after the first offense, according to court records. According to those same records and Ivester's account, Mitchell was not at the school during the second offense either. Also, the charges were filed in Washington County, court records show. Tucker Elementary is in Benton County.

Det. Mandy Ruth with the Lowell Police Department said the department was informed by the Arkansas State Police of the allegations against Mitchell on Sept. 22 and the officer was immediately placed on administrative leave pending the outcome. Ruth said the state police conducted the investigation. Ruth confirmed Mitchell's employment was terminated Thursday.

Mitchell is a military veteran who had previously worked for the Prairie Grove Police Department, according to the Facebook account.

Mitchell remained in the Washington County Detention Center on Thursday afternoon in lieu of a $25,000 bond, with a hearing date set for Oct. 18 in Washington County Circuit Court. He arrived at the jail just before noon Thursday, detention center records show.

The state police Criminal Investigation Division opened the investigation Sept. 22 following a call to the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division Hotline, according to the arrest announcement.

A Class B felony is punishable by between five to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

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Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division Hotline: (800) 482-5964.

If there is any reason to suspect the life of a child is in imminent danger, immediately contact the nearest local law enforcement agency or dial 911, then follow-up with a call to the hotline, according to the Arkansas State Police website.

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