Boone County, Ark. judge sentences man to 6 life sentences plus 488 years for sex crimes involving children
HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - A judge sentenced Terry Break, 58, to prison for the rest of his life after a conviction for raping three boys over the course of several years in Boone County.
Break, who is originally from Thayer, Mo., received six life sentences plus 488 years. It is the longest sentence ever given in Boone County for any crime. The case originated with a report to the Omaha School District, which then lead to investigation efforts by Boone County Sheriff’s Office and the Arkansas State Police.
”That Omaha officer did a great job, investigated and got information from the child,” said David Ethredge, the prosecuting attorney of the 14th Judicial District of Arkansas. “As a result, officers of the Boone County Sheriff’s Office and Arkansas State Police began an investigation and identified the individual.”
Further investigation found more victims, leading to a lengthy list of charges:
- Contributing to the delinquency of a minor
- Rape/Forcible Compulsion
- Sexual Indecency with a child
- Sexual Assault 2nd degree
- Distribute. posses viewing matter depicting sexual conduct involving child
- Engaging children in sexually explicit conduct for use in visual or print medium
- Sexually grooming a child
- Intimidating a witness
”I think that anytime you’ve harmed children, and harmed them in a way that affects them for the rest of their life, no matter what we do it’s going to be a part of them,” Ethredge explained. “I absolutely get no pleasure, no joy that I have been a part of a process that puts a man in prison for the rest of his life.”
But it is necessary to bring justice to the victims.
”Those three young men know that the right people protected them, the right people believed in them,” said Ethredge. “As a result, they no longer have to be concerned about being harmed by him again. That is what we get satisfaction from.”
According to the Boone County office of David Ethredge, since 2015, prosecutions of sexual assaults in Boone County are up 153%. Ethredge says it is a direct result of the growing efforts of several entities including efforts to send messages to both offenders and victims.
”I hope our offenders understand that if you come to this area and you prey on our children, we are going to do whatever we can to put you in prison for the rest of your life,” said April Benefiel, the Boone County Victim Witness Coordinator.
Benefiel says education for victims, especially children, is important in making sure cases don’t go unseen.
“We’re telling victims that ‘hey don’t hide in shadows we want to help you,’” Ethredge explained. “We’re telling them there are people who care.”
It is a clear message, one that will continue to be shown in the sentencing of sexual offenders.
”Absolutely, because it’s generational damage,” said Ethredge. “It’s not just the damage to that child, it’s the damage to their family and their families down the road.”
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