Former Prison Chaplain Gets 10-Year Term for Sexual Assault

WOODRUFF COUNTY, Ark. - A former prison chaplain has been sentenced to a ten-year term in the Arkansas Department of Correction for third-degree sexual assault, authorities say. 

Kenneth Dewitt, 77, of Woodruff County has been taken into custody and transported to the Arkansas Department of Correction, according to Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce. 

“I am certainly hopeful that the victims, as well as the Department of Corrections, are glad this case has finally come to a conclusion," Boyce said.

Dewitt was a prison chaplain at the Department of Correction's McPherson Women's Unit and resigned from his position in 2014 after confessing to an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.

A subsequent investigation by Arkansas State Police uncovered three women Dewitt had engaged in sexual relations with during his time as a chaplain at the unit.

The Department of Correction issued the following statement after Dewitt's sentencing:

"The Arkansas Department of Correction has taken, and will continue to take, allegations of sexual abuse in its institutions seriously. State law prohibits any form of sexual contact between correctional staff and inmates. The department will do everything in its power to protect the inmates in its custody from becoming victims of any form of sexual abuse."

The statement continued, "The department cooperated fully with the investigation into Kenneth Dewitt's behavior and appreciates the work of the Arkansas State Police and Prosecutor Henry Boyce and his staff.  Dewitt acknowledged that his actions were criminal by entering his guilty plea."


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