A Lowell man accused of raping young girls last month at R.E. Baker Elementary School in Bentonville entered a not guilty plea on Monday (June 23).
Ali Matar, 21, enter the plea during his arraignment in Benton County Circuit Court. He is accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl and two 6-year-old girls, officials said.
Matar has been charged with two counts of rape and one count of 2nd degree sexual assault, according to Carly Marshall, a Benton County deputy prosecuting attorney.
Matar’s next court date is set for Aug. 1, Marshall said.
Matar was arrested on May 14 after an incident at his place of employment, the Bentonville School District’s Adventure Club Program at the elementary school, according to police.
Matar worked at three other schools in the Bentonville district, according to superintendent Michael Poore. The superintendent confirmed that employees at the after-school program are supposed to work in pairs, but that didn’t happen with this child-rape case.