JONESBORO, Ark. — The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man out of Jonesboro on a charge of rape following an investigation into a complaint that was filed on August 8, 2020.
The man who was charged was 63-year-old Jerry Donald Busch.
The mother of a 15-year-old girl reported to the Sheriff’s Office that Busch had engaged in sexual contact with the girl on July 1, 2020, in Baxter County. According to the mother, Busch is a member of the extended family and had been a close friend.
The girl had been allowed to travel with Busch to the Lake Norfork area near Gamaliel for an overnight stay in a camper. Other members of the family were expected to arrive the next day.
After the complaint had been made, the girl was later interviewed at a child advocacy center in Jonesboro that was conducted using the ChildFirst forensic interview protocol. The girl alleged that Busch provided her with alcohol and was drinking alcohol himself on the date in question.
The girl and Busch were on a boat during the day, then returned to the camper around 6:00 p.m. The girl fell asleep but was awakened when Busch was performing sexual acts on her, which she described in detail. The girl said that Busch apologized later to her for his conduct, but told her he would like to have sex with her again.
Sheriff’s Investigators later conducted two separate interviews with different acquaintances of Busch, one being the victim’s father, and both said that Busch had made admissions after the fact to them of his sexual conduct with the victim on July 1st.
On September 4, Busch was interviewed at the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office about the complaint. He basically stated that he had become so intoxicated by alcohol that he had no recollection of what had occurred after he and the girl returned to the camper after being on the lake in the boat. Busch did admit to the investigator that he had apologized to the victim the next day for “whatever” had happened but told her he still wanted to have sex with her again.
The information from the investigation was provided to the Prosecuting Attorney who filed a charge of rape and a charge of child endangerment against Busch, and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest by the Circuit Court.
Busch surrendered himself to the Baxter County Detention Center Wednesday afternoon, September 30. He was booked on the charges listed below:
- Rape – Class Y Felony
- Endangering the Welfare of a Minor in the First Degree – Class D Felony
Busch was released from detention after posting bond in the amount of $75,000 as specified on the warrant. He will appear before the Circuit Court to answer the charges on October 15.