Man was originally accused of abuse in taping of Steve Wilkos show
A 38-year-old Gassville man, Joseph Nicholas Desparrois, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday after he admitted to sexually abusing a young girl.
As part of a plea bargain, Desparrois will serve 12 years and be released on parole for eight years, according to the plea bargain announced in court. Desparrois was charged and convicted on a count of second-degree sexual abuse.
The girl’s mother reported the accusations to the sheriff’s office on March 26, at least two months after appearing on the Steve Wilkos show and discussing the matter for the television show.
The affidavit does not indicate if the child’s mother reported the incident to a law enforcement agency before reporting it to, and appearing on, the television show.
One the complaint was filed, investigators arranged for the child to be interviewed by a certified child forensic interviewer. During that interview, the girl reported Desparrois committed an act of sexual abuse on her.
When interviewed by a BCSO detective, the mother said the girl told her of the abuse. Later, the mother made a recording of a conversation she had with Desparrois. During that conversation, Desparrois reportedly admits to inappropriately touching the girl, according to the affidavit.
The girl’s grandmother reported to authorities Desparrois asked her not to report the incidents to authorities, because he did not want to go to prison.
Investigators presented the case to prosecutors, who made the decision to file the charge against Desparrois. Once a warrant was issued for Desparrois’ arrest, authorities tracked him down and arrested him, taking him to the Baxter County jail where he was held in lieu of a $35,000 bond.
Desparrois will remain in the Baxter County jail until he is transferred to the state prison system.
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