HELENA-WEST HELENA, AR (WMC) - The mother of a 14-year-old girl and other family members are facing criminal charges after investigators said they knew the 14-year-old was having a sexual relationship with a 29-year-old man and did nothing to stop it.
Multiple anonymous calls were made to the Arkansas State Crimes Against Children hotline reporting the relationship.
Helena-West Helena police said investigators discovered the mother of the teenager was aware of the relationship her daughter was having with the adult. Additionally, investigators said the child's grandmother and great-aunt had knowledge of the relationship.
None of the family members tried to end the relationship, according to police chief Virgil Green.
"What's disturbing is that you have the grandmother and a great-aunt and others who had knowledge the 14-year-old has been involved with this 29-year-old man and did nothing to protect this 14-year-old," Green said.
Investigators said they also discovered the 29-year-old man's wife knew about the relationship, even allowing the teen to spend the night at their home.
The man also was able to check the teenager out of school on multiple dates.
Police said the mother of the teenager, grandmother, and great-aunt are all looking at facing criminals charges for not protecting the teenager. In addition, the man's wife will be facing criminal charges related to her knowledge of the relationship between her husband and the 14-year-old.
"Very concerning when mothers and other family members are not protecting their children from grown men who prey on these young girls," Green said. "In the past 12 months our investigators have been involved in over 25 sexual assault cases where it's been alleged that young girls as young as 13-15 years old have been raped by adult males."
The name of the 29-year-old has not been released by police and they have not released what charges he will face. The 14-year-old is currently in protective custody.