Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell is advising the public a Level 4 sex offender has been released from prison and is residing in the area of Fawn Road near the Searcy\Baxter County line.
Sheriff Cassell says in a Facebook post 52-year-old Joseph Scott Ritter has been granted parole after serving over 20 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction.
Cassell says Ritter was convicted of kidnapping and rape. The offense involved Ritter breaking into the home of a 23-year-old female stranger and taking her to his residence where he assaulted and tortured her until she was able to escape.
He says while the offense was against an adult female, due to the contents of Ritter’s risk assessment, “we cannot in good faith limit his target to only adult females.”
Level 4 offenders are labeled as sexually dangerous individuals. Cassell says these individuals have impaired judgement or control with sexual or violent compulsions they lack the ability to control.
Ritter is 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighing 175 pounds.