A Saline County man will go to prison for the maximum sentence after violating a young family member two years ago, and then two more came forward.
Dylan Easterday, age 36, of East End was convicted of Sexual Assault in the Second Degree by a Saline County jury. Judge Josh Farmer followed the jury’s sentencing recommendation and sentenced Easterday to the maximum sentence of 240 months in the Arkansas Department of Correction.
The State presented evidence that in the early morning hours of May 30-31, 2019, Easterday entered the home of a juvenile relative who was awakened when she realized someone was in her bed and fondling her. She awakened her brother who saw Easterday leaving the child’s room. Easterday spoke briefly to the pair then left the residence when the siblings went to inform their father.
When questioned by police, Easterday admitted being in the house in bed with the juvenile but stated that he had taken Klonapin and drank beer the night before and did not recall touching her.
The juvenile’s sister testified that she previously woke to Easterday in her bed fondling her when she spent the night at his residence in Sheridan babysitting his children. She reported the abuse to the Grant County authorities but no charges were filed.
Their brother also testified that when he was approximately 13 years old, Easterday lured him under his grandmother’s house to perform maintenance work and sexually abused him there. He testified that he had come to terms with his own abuse but the fact that his sisters had also been abused was unforgiveable and made him disclose what had happened to him.
Prosecuting Attorney Chris Walton stated, “It is inconceivable that families will not protect their own. This jury sent a powerful message to Easterday that our community will step in to protect abused children when their families fail them. Clearly, a maximum sentence for sexually assaulting a child is a strong statement that his conduct will not be tolerated.”
Walton went on to thank the Saline County Sheriff’s office for their investigation and Rebecca Bush and Mary Grace Daughtrey for successfully prosecuting the case for the State. Walton stated, “These cases are the most difficult cases to prosecute. The deputies involved worked hard and the jury rendered a just verdict.”