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Convicted prison chaplain Kenneth Dewitt was taken into custody Monday by Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy Carl Schlotzhauer after being sentenced to 10 years for sexually assaulting female prison inmates during his service as chaplain. (Photo provided by 3rd Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s Office)

Convicted prison chaplain Kenneth Dewitt was taken into custody Monday by Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy Carl Schlotzhauer after being sentenced to 10 years for sexually assaulting female prison inmates during his service as chaplain. (Photo provided by 3rd Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s Office)

Kenneth Dewitt

Kenneth Dewitt

Woodruff County, Ark. — A prison chaplain at the Arkansas Department of Corrections McPherson Unit has been sent to prison in the Arkansas Department of Corrections for sexually assaulting three female prisoners at the unit.
Third Judicial District Prosecuting Atty. Henry Boyce said Kenneth Dewitt, 67, of the Patterson community here will be transferred to the Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence.
Dewitt was charged after an investigation that surfaced after he resigned his post as chaplain following his confession to an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate. He was then charged with sexual assault in the third degree of three of the prisoners in the women’s unit. He resigned as chaplain in 2014.
According to a statement released by Boyce, the defendant stood stoically as one of the victims read her victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing held on Monday, Aug. 8. The defendant never looked at his victim.
In a plea arrangement Dewitt was sentenced to a 10-year sentence on each count to run concurrently with five years suspended on each count. So, he will spend a total of five years in prison.
Boyce said extensive discussions were held with each of Dewitt’s victims and each agreed with the plea offer and sentence.
Boyce said he was hopeful all parties in the case were glad to see it come to a close.
After Dewitt pled guilty a month ago Boyce said, “After substantial preparation for trial in this case I am pleased that Mr. Dewitt has admitted his guilt and is willing to accept prison time as a result. Any time an employee of a correctional facility, not to mention a member of the clergy, takes advantage of his position of trust and authority to procure sexual favors, the judicial system should exact punishment for that transgression.”

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