AR man accused of sexual misconduct with kids between 4 and 14 - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

AR man accused of sexual misconduct with kids between 4 and 14

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ARRESTED: Jesse James Howard, 38. (Source: Little River County Sheriff's Office) ARRESTED: Jesse James Howard, 38. (Source: Little River County Sheriff's Office)
The home of Jesse James Howard The home of Jesse James Howard
FOREMAN, AR (KSLA) -

A man southwest Arkansas police say was a family friend is now behind bars for sexual misconduct, accused of inappropriate acts with children between the ages of 4 and 14.

Now, some residents of Foreman, Arkansas are outraged.

"I live right here. It is appalling. It makes me sick to my stomach," says Forman resident Stephen Peterson.

Peterson expresses disgust for what his neighbor is being accused of.

Jesse James Howard, 38, has been arrested on charges of rape, indecency with a minor, and terroristic threatening.

"In our interview -- state police and myself interviewed Mr. Howard -- he did confess that this action was going on," says Foreman Police Chief Alex Mathis.

Investigators say that four children have come forward so far. But they believe that there could be more victims.

Mathis alleges that the incidents occurred during the past 12 months while Howard was acting as a babysitter.

"He knew the families, had mowed their yards, went to church with them," Mathis says.

But it wasn't until last week that a child told his parents, the chief says.

"He threatened little statements to them, like 'I would take a butcher knife and slit your throat,' very harsh statements like that to keep them from telling their parents," Mathis says.

Foreman resident Kenneth Hudgens, who lives next door to Howard, says, "He was real friendly, especially around kids and everything. I guess that is why."

Howard remains in the Little River County Jail under a $250,000 bond.

Says Stephenson: "Damn him. Pardon my language. But God will get that man. I am telling you God will get that man."

Police say that families with children who were cared for by Howard should call the Arkansas State Police at (870) 777-8944.

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