BHDC resident facing rape charge

Democrat Staff

A 23-year old resident at the Booneville Human Development Center has been formally charged with rape in connection with an incident that occurred in April.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, James Ray Hense, is accused of having had forced sex with a female in a female bathroom in the BHDC Commons building.

The affidavit also alleges Hense held his hand over the female’s mouth and that he also warned her not to tell anyone.

The charge against Hense is a Class Y felony.

According to court documents Hense was initially held on a $50,000 bond but on June 10 his bond was modified and he was released to the custody of BHDC.

The release is provided Hense wear an electronic monitoring device, remain on the property of BHDC at all times other than court appearances, that BHDC notify law enforcement and prosecutor Tyler Barham in the event Hense leaves the property, and that BHDC or the Office of Public Guardian be responsible for Hense during court appearances.

“If a client in our HDCs allegedly commits an illegal offense, we immediately ensure the health and safety of that alleged offender (client), the other clients and the staff at the HDCs,” Amy Webb, Chief Communications and Community Engagement Officer with the Arkansas Department of Human Services said. “The alleged offender is separated from the area of the alleged crime and/or alleged victim (client or staff).”

Webb added safety of staff and clients are primary concerns.

“To ensure the safety of the alleged offender and/or alleged victim, emergency safety protocols are immediately put in place,” said Webb. “These can include the following: monitoring/supervision level changes; addition of a telemetry device, door alarms, plexiglass and/or other safety features; removal of personal belongings that could cause harm to self or others. The alleged offender and/or the alleged victim are also evaluated medically if needed.”

The rape allegation against Hense is the second sexual related case inolving a BHDC resident in the span of about eight months.

In November Tanner Smith was charged with a Class B sexual assault after an incindent in October in which BHDC staff was attempting to bring him under control, according to an arrest warrant affidavit, when Smith got his pants and underwear off, pulled down a female staff member’s pants and underwear and raised another female staff member’s shirt exposing her underclothing.

Smith is also accused of doing it all while saying, “I am going to rape you.”