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Sheriff's Deputy Accused of Sexual Assault of a Child

A Faulkner County sheriff's deputy is being investigated for sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl.
FAULKNER COUNTY, AR -- A man sworn to protect the law is now being investigated for breaking it.

A 14-year-old girl has accused a deputy with the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office (FCSO) of sexual assault.

This is a very sensitive case as the girl is a minor. To protect her identity, not many details are available.

However, the Faulkner County sheriff is not protecting the identity of the now former deputy.

In fact, he decided to fire him before he was charged with the crime.

"It was very disappointing," says Sheriff Andy Shock.

Sheriff Shock said he never suspected one of his own deputies would be investigated for sexual assault of a child.

He said former Deputy Keith Rick joined the FCSO in 2008.

The sheriff called the 24-year-old a good employee, but said also, "If he's proven guilty they need to throw the book at him."

Sheriff Shock says the 14-year old victim's mother reported the crime Sunday to the Conway Police Department.

A police spokeswoman says they'll look into it and then turn the case over to the prosecuting attorney.

She said the department will investigate this case just like any other, and the former deputy will not receive any special treatment.

The sheriff decided to put Rick on administrative leave during the investigation, but when deputies went to collect his weapon and other items, Sheriff Shock says Rick mentioned something that led to his firing.

The sheriff wouldn't tell us what Rick said, but believes it will be used in the investigation.

As far as the victim's relationship with Rick, we were only told the two are acquaintances.

We did go to the latest listed address for Rick, but no one answered the door.

On his Facebook page, Rick asked his friends to "please pray for me and my family."

Rick started at the FCSO nearly six years ago as a detention officer. In 2010, he was promoted to deputy.

Before he was fired, Rick served in the patrol division.

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