An Enola man accused of raping a close member pleaded not guilty in Faulkner County Circuit Court on Monday.
Charges against Elwood Clay Zipper were filed in May 2017 after the juvenile victim reported to authorities in September 2016 "than an adult male living in her home ... had been sexually abusing her since March of 2015."
Elwood appeared in shackles before Circuit Judge Charels "Ed" Clawson Jr. on Monday and pleaded not guilty to one count of rape.
Barry Keith Faulkner was appointed to represent Elwood, who is currently being held in the county jail in lieu of a $100,000.
The victim said the alleged abuse began when she was 14 years old and continued until about two weeks prior to her disclosure with authorities.
"In the disclosure, the victim stated that starting in March of 2015, Elwood Clay Zipper, began kissing her, performing oral sex on her, and having other sexual contact with her," according to a probable cause affidavit.
Faulkner County Sheriff's Office investigators set up an interview with Zipper, now 59, after the 16-year-old girl reported the alleged abuse.
Zipper confirmed being the girl's legal guardian. He also admitted to having "inappropriate sexual contact" with the victim approximately eight times.
"Zipper stated that on multiple occasions he kissed the victim, had sexual contact with the victim" and participated in other sexually explicit acts with the underage victim.
Zipper, who was ordered not to contact the victim, is scheduled to appear next at 9 a.m. May 1 for a pretrial hearing regarding the aforementioned case.