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Man pleads in Christmas morning sex abuse case

Published 6:04am Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Franklin County man accused of sexually abusing a young girl on Christmas morning accepted a plea agreement on Tuesday before his case could be tried in circuit court.
Arnulfo Lucas Renteria, 61, 31202 Franklin 724, Russellville, pleaded guilty to enticing a child for immoral purposes, which is a Class C felony and will require Renteria to register as a sex offender.
According to Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing, Renteria accepted a 10-year sentence that was split with three years to serve in prison followed by five years of probation.
However, Rushing said officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have placed a hold on Renteria for possible deportation from the United States as a result of his conviction.
“It’s possible Mr. Renteria will be deported but he will have to serve his time in prison before that happens,” Rushing said.
Renteria was originally indicted on one count of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old for alleged abuse that occurred this past Christmas morning.
According to reports, investigators with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said authorities were notified at 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 25, 2011, that Renteria had allegedly sexually abused an 11-year-old girl that morning.
The victim is reportedly a family acquaintance and was staying in the same residence as Renteria when the abuse allegedly occurred.
Authorities said Renteria is accused of going into the room where the girl was sleeping on and inappropriately touching her in her bed.
Officials said the girl told her parents about the abuse and they notified authorities who also notified the Franklin County Department of Human Resources.
“Any type of case where sexual abuse is involved is tragic, but this case was made even more tragic by the fact that it occurred to a young girl on Christmas morning – a time when which should be full of happiness, presents and good memories,” Rushing said.
“We discussed the plea with the victim in the case and came to an agreement that would have Mr. Renteria serving time while being able to avoid the young girl having to go through the stress of testifying at the trial.”
Rushing said Renteria will be officially sentenced in the next few months.

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