June 22, 2018 – Dakota Austin Waldrop, 23, of Dunlap, was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison, to serve 100 percent, for child rape.
Circuit Court Judge Thomas Graham handed down the sentence after Waldrop pled guilty to rape of a child (2 counts) and aggravated sexual battery (2 counts).
On July 26, 2017, the Dunlap Police Department (DPD) arrested Waldrop, of 46 Tucker St., Dunlap, for rape of a child under the age of 13, which is a Class A felony.
According to Police Chief Clint Huth, his department was called when the 5-year-old child told her grandmother that Waldrop had “touched her private parts.”
“This was not the first incident,” Huth explained Friday. “The child was 4 years old when the first incident occurred in November of 2016.”
The DPD called in the Department of Children's Services (DCS), which conducted a physical exam and a forensic interview with the victim. Police subsequently brought Waldrop in, and in an interview with Detective Robert Raber, he confessed to assaulting the child.
The assaults involved “digital penetration,” which is still considered rape, Raber explained.
The child's 46-year-old grandmother had custody of the little girl, Huth said, because the child's mother was in prison. Waldrop was the grandmother's boyfriend, and was sometimes left to care for the child while the grandmother was at work.
Huth said police do not know who the child's father is.
The grandmother's custody has since been revoked, officers said, and the child is now in the custody of DCS.