Plea deal reached in Hempstead County sex crimes case

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    NICOLE TRACY
    REPORTER
    HOPE – The case against
    Van Dale Stueart came to
    a close on Nov. 23, when
    Stueart pleaded guilty to the
    felony charges of sexually
    grooming a child and sexual
    indecency with a child.
    He was sentenced to six
    years probation on each of
    the charges, and was additionally
    fined $1,500 plus
    court costs, as well as was ordered
    to pay special assessments
    related to domestic
    relations and child advocacy
    care groups.
    Restrictions were also
    placed on Stueart’s usage of
    smart phones and computers.
    He is required to register
    as a sex offender, and is also
    required to receive counseling.
    Sexually grooming a child
    is defined as a person 21 or
    older exposing a minor
    13 or younger to sexually
    explicit material for the purpose
    of enticing the minor to
    engage in sexual intercourse,
    sexually explicit conduct
    or sexually deviate activity.
    The law was passed by the
    Arkansas General Assembly
    in 2013. It is considered a
    Class D Felony.
    Sixty-seven-year old
    Stueart was taken into custody
    by deputies as the
    result of an investigation
    that began March 19, when
    parents of the alleged victim
    notified authorities that their
    nine-year-old daughter had
    been videoed and “shown
    some pornographic films.”
    Stueart surrendered
    himself to the Hempstead
    County Sheriff’s Office on
    March 25.