Arkansas Man May Appeal Conviction For False Police Report Against Sen. Rapert

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Arkansas Sen. Jason Rapert

CONWAY (AP) — A man sentenced for filing a false police report against an Arkansas senator said he’s planning to appeal the conviction.

Arkansas Sen. Jason Rapert

Stephan Ferry was convicted Tuesday of the misdemeanor and sentenced to 180 days in jail, with 150 days suspended. The Conway man must also pay a $1,000 fine and have no contact with Sen. Jason Rapert or the Republican lawmaker’s family, the AP reports.

“The criminal tactics used by this man to try and hurt me and smear my reputation were unsuccessful,” Rapert said.

The charge resulted from a January telephone conversation between Rapert and Ferry. Ferry told police that Rapert became angry and threatened him over the phone, but police found no such allegation in recordings. Both men recorded the call, but Ferry’s didn’t start at the beginning. He also told police his recording later cut off “for an unknown reason,” according to a police report.

“During the call, Mr. Rapert never made a statement of, ‘I have people to come after you.’ He did, on several occasions, indicate that he felt Mr. Ferry’s repeated contact over the past few years constituted harassment,” the police report said. “Mr. Rapert told Mr. Ferry several times that he was going to contact law enforcement.”

Rapert provided police with documentation of past communication with Ferry, including in email in which Ferry wrote that someone in Little Rock was “going to prove that you have no business in politics.”

Ferry’s attorney said Wednesday he didn’t know if there would be an appeal. But Ferry said later that he was “100 percent” sure he’d appeal, calling his conviction “a complete injustice.” His attorney also said Ferry wants a venue change for any appeal to circuit court.

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