Hold placed on sex offender released from SWAR jail who vowed to rape again

Local News

HOPE, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – A known sex offender who allegedly made threats he was going to rape the first woman he saw is back behind bars as officials work to get him into a long-term facility.

“I don’t think an individual like this ought to be walking the streets,” said Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton.

Singleton said he first found out about John Mark West, 38, in an e-mail Monday from the sex offender administrator notifying the sheriff the level-three sex offender was about to be released back to the county. 

“The sex offender coordinator was so adamant that we issue a community-wide alert for this person because we didn’t know what time he would be here, we didn’t know what time he would be released from the hospital,” said Singleton.

The sheriff said West allegedly told hospital staff he would rape the first woman he encountered to be able to come back to the care of the Arkansas Department of Corrections. 

“He needs to be placed in a place where that he can receive his treatment, receive his medications and everything,” said Singleton. “And jail’s not the place for him.”

Hempstead County deputies arrested West around 7 p.m. Monday on a disorderly conduct charge within an hour of his arrival in Hope. He is currently being held in the Hempstead County Detention Center without a release date. 

“We have a mental health problem in the state that I don’t think there’s enough money going around to treat people and they wind up like this,” said Singleton. “Falling through the cracks and costing the taxpayers here in Hempstead County money.”

The sheriff said a hold has been placed on West to have a competency hearing. Officials plan to find a long-term state facility specializing in sex offenders where he can receive treatment. 

In Arkansas, you can find out if any registered sex offenders are living near you by visiting the Arkansas Crime Information Center website, www.acic.org.
 

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