Court of Appeals upholds sex crimes conviction of MC man

Photo: Scotty Jo Scaggs

The Arkansas Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a Marion County man in April 2019 on multiple sex-related crimes involving children.

A jury of six men and six women returned guilty verdicts against 48-year-old Scotty Joe Scaggs of Summit on all three charges–sexual indecency with a child and both first and second-degree sexual assault.

Circuit Judge John Putman sentenced Scaggs to a term of 20 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction.

Scaggs’ appeal addressed the sufficiency of evidence regarding only the first-degree sexual assault charge. He also challenged the circuit court’s admission of evidence pursuant to the Arkansas Rules of Evidence 2019.

In its decision affirming the conviction, the Court of Appeals said the lower court did not abuse its discretion by admitting the testimony of a 23-year-old victim who had testified her sexual contact with Scaggs began when she was 9 years old.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the charges stem from allegations involving more than one child between October 2007 and January 2008.

In May 2017, a deputy with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department was contacted by an investigator with the Crimes Against Children Division of the Arkansas State Police.

The investigator said a report had been taken regarding a juvenile female, along with several other children, who spent the night with Scaggs after a family get together. The victim said Scaggs made her take off her clothes and dance on a dresser. The victim also alleges Scaggs made her kiss other children and sleep in his bed, where he touched her inappropriately and made inappropriate comments.

The trial was the second for Scaggs, who was serving as a volunteer chaplain in the Marion County jail at the time of his arrest in 2017. The first ended in a mistrial in December 2018.

Scaggs was suspended from his role as a volunteer chaplain immediately following his arrest and being charged.

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