A 22-year-old Booneville man has been charged with rape for allegedly having sex with a 12-year old girl.

The victim told investigators on at least three occasions that she consented to having sex with Jessie Aaron Dow, 22, on the morning of July 16 and that it was her first time.

She said Dow left the residence where she was staying with his sister and returned with whiskey and the sex occurred after she drank a little and Dow repeatedly asked her to do so.

Because of the age of the victim the charge is a Class Y felony punishable upon conviction by 10 to 40 years, or life, in prison.

Dow told investigators he had never had sex with the girl, but he had with her sister about a year before. He also told investigators he had received several text messages from the girl and he suspected she had a crush on him.

A friend of Dow’s was interviewed by police, according to court documents, and told investigators he and Dow went to a party on the15th but that he left after one beer. The friend, however, granted permission for police to photograph text messages between the two regarding his friend picking him up on July 17.

The party organizer told investigators that Dow and his friend arrived at her part at 11:30 p.m. on July 15 and that the friend left at 2 a.m. and Dow at 4:30. She said Dow returned to her home at 10:30 p.m. the next night. She also said she knew the victim and that the victim had told her stories about being raped before.

Dow appeared before 15th Judicial District Judge Jerry Don Ramey on Friday. Dow told Ramey he was in the process of hiring an attorney and Ramey continued the case. He will be arraigned on Oct. 4.

Dow’s was one of three sexual related cases set for arraignment Friday. Eric Scott Paulson, 49, who was recently arrested in West Virginia was arraigned on a rape charge. Public defender John Irwin was appointed to represent Paulson and plead not guilty on his behalf. Paulson’s next appearance was set for Nov. 1.

Irwin was also appointed to represent Jeremy Marcus Ruby, 33, who was last week charged with second degree sexual assault. Irwin also entered a not guilty plea on Ruby’s behalf and Ruby’s next appearance is also Nov. 1.