Investigators have collected a 36-year-old homeless man's DNA in connection to a rape case involving a close juvenile family member.
Joshua Brooks was charged with rape in January following an investigation that ensued after a 6-year-old family member confided in her father about the May incident.
The girl told her father that Brooks "did something funny to her" overnight after Brooks spent the night in May 2017. According to a probable cause affidavit, the young girl told her father that Brooks, who had been staying with her family for about two months, was planning to steal his mother's vehicle and flee to Texas, noting he "woke her up sometime during the night and pulled her shorts down." The 6-year-old victim was questioned by other family members throughout the day about the allegations against Brooks and authorities were notified after the young girl was dropped off at school.
The sheriff's office learned during its investigation that Brooks' mother had also questioned him about the incident. His mother told investigators that her husband, Brooks' father, was in prison for sexually assaulting his nieces. When she questioned Brooks about the accusations against him, Brooks repeatedly told her he was not like his father but also did not deny having inappropriate contact with the victim.
Brooks' mother told investigators she advised Brooks to turn himself in to authorities. When she told him to turn himself in, she said he told her he was going to kill himself and hung up on her. She further explained Brooks is "very sick," noting he has been to "a few mental hospitals," has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and has a history of drug abuse.
In her statement, Brooks' mother said she did not want to charge her son for stealing her vehicle and fleeing to Texas. She also said she believes Brooks went to Texas to get drugs, noting he came to Arkansas to get clean. She provided authorities with the name of another family member who lives in Texas that Brooks frequently visits for food.
Brooks was formally charged with rape after the victim described in more detail what he allegedly did to her in May during a January interview at the Children's Advocacy Alliance. The girl told authorities Brooks "put his finger inside her ... and used his tongue."
According to a search warrant affidavit asking to obtain a DNA sample from Brooks, investigators noted Arkansas State Crime Lab results showed that the underwear the girl was wearing had traces of Y-STR, which is a Y-chromosome found only in men.
A DNA swab was taken from Brooks on Friday. Brooks, who is currently being held in the county jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond, is currently scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. March 26 in Faulkner County Circuit Court for a plea and arraignment hearing.