Bentonville School Board Votes to Fire Employee Accused of Rape

BENTONVILLE, AR (KNWA) - The Bentonville School Board has fired an employee suspected of raping a 5-year-old girl at school.

The board voted to terminate Ali M. Matar, Jr. in a meeting Monday night. Matar worked at the after school program, Adventure Club.

In a police report released Friday, investigators state the assault happened while the victim and Matar, 21, were alone in the library at R.E. Baker Elementary School.

Investigators say during an interview with the girl on Tuesday at the Children's Advocacy Center, she told them Matar's hands "tickled her" inside her private area, hugged her, and that it only happened one time.

Detectives interviewed Matar Wednesday and say he initially told police he had touched her under her clothes accidentally, but then say he admitted to penetrating the victim with his finger, telling police he was "curious."

Matar was then arrested on a Class Y Felony Rape charge and could face up to 40 years in prison. Matar is still in the Benton County Jail. His bond has been set at $75,000 and his next court date is scheduled for June 23. He was placed on administrative leave following his arrest.

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