Local man held in rape case of a child under the age of one

Joey Penix, 26 years old of Imboden sits in the Lawrence County jail with a $150,000 cash bond following a December 2019 investigation. According to a Sharp County affidavit a Highland police officer was dispatched to the Cherokee Village emergency room after a possible sexual assault of an infant was reported. According to reports medical personnel who examined the victim stated the injuries were consistent with and showed obvious signs of a sexual assault. The child was transported to Children’s Hospital in Little Rock for further medical care.

Following what police describe as a lengthy investigation which included several interviews with both Highland police department investigators and Arkansas State police investigators, Penix admitted to “hurting” the child during the interviews.

Penix was placed under arrest on December 11th, 2019 and taken to the Sharp County jail, he was transferred to the Lawrence County jail later that same day. According to sources Penix is being charged with a Class Y felony count of rape. Class Y felonies are the most serious crimes in Arkansas not punishable by death. A conviction for a Class Y felony can result in a prison term of 10 years to life. Penix remains in the Lawrence County Detention Center on a $150,000 cash bond.