Charges were dropped Thursday against a Springdale man accused of repeatedly raping a young girl after the victim and mother recanted their stories, according to the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.
The trial against Scotty Ratliff, 28, was scheduled to begin Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court. The young girl in the case and her mother recanted their stories, forcing prosecutors to render the case nolle prosequi, meaning the charges are dropped against the suspect, but new evidence within the next year could open the case back up.
Ratliff pleaded not guilty in January to charges of rape and sexual indecency with a child. He was arrested earlier in the month and released from the Washington County Detention Center on $25,000 bond, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
A woman called Springdale police in November to report that she caught Ratliff naked with a young girl. She had caught him before in a similar situation previously, but had not mentioned it to police, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in Washington County Circuit Court.
Child safety authorities interviewed the victim, who said Ratliff had raped her and performed sexual acts on her as many as 30 times in the past, police said. A forensic examination of the victim showed a past injury from the alleged rapes, according to the affidavit.
Based on the testimony of the woman and victim, an arrest warrant was issued Dec. 11 for Ratliff. He was later located and arrested by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.