AP NEWS

70-year-old man charged with sexual assault on a child

May 15, 2019

A rural Scotts Bluff County man is accused of sexually assaulting a young girl.

According to Scotts Bluff County Court records, Jimmy R. Darnell, 70, has been charged with first-degree sexual assault on a child less than 12 years of age, a Class IB felony; and sexual assault of a child, third degree, Class IIIA felony.

A complaint alleges that the assaults occurred during a period of time from October 2011 through October 2012. Court documents show that Darnell had been cited and ordered to appear for arraignment on May 24, but that Darnell has waived his right to a preliminary hearing in the case.

According to a search warrant obtained in September 2018, authorities received a child abuse intake from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services involving a girl disclosing she had been sexually assaulted.

Authorities interviewed the girl at CAPStone in June 2018, in which the girl alleged that Darnell would pull down her pajamas and underwear and sexually assault her. She told investigators she was 5 or 6 years old at the time and that the alleged assaults occurred at Darnell’s residence in Scotts Bluff County.

A Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s deputy also interviewed the girl’s mother, who told law enforcement that she had engaged in text messages with one of Darnell’s family members and that the conversation had involved handling the allegations without involvement of law enforcement and not discussing it with others.

In the affidavit, deputies state that Darnell, represented by attorney Maren Chaloupka and another attorney, declined interviews with authorities.

Court documents show that Darnell had been cited and ordered to appear for arraignment on May 24 in Scotts Bluff County Court, but that Darnell has waived his right to a preliminary hearing in the case. Darnell was cited on May 10, according to court records.

An appearance date for Darnell to appear in district court was not yet available in online computer records.