A Mayflower man previously convicted of child molestation was arrested Wednesday evening after he was accused of forcing a 13-year-old boy to perform sexual acts on him.

William Tod Rickert, 53, is currently behind bars without bond in the Faulkner County Detention Center awaiting a first appearance hearing before a district judge.

Online records show the Mayflower man was formally charged with one count of rape, a Class Y felony, shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday and that he was booked into the county jail at 5:30 p.m.

According to the felony probable cause affidavit filed against Rickert, the 53-year-old is accused of forcing a 13-year-old boy to perform oral sex on him in 2016.

The investigation against Rickert began in November 2019 after an anonymous caller left a tip on the Arkansas State Police Child Abuse Hotline. An Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children investigator alerted Mayflower Police Department Sgt. Doug Hunter of the allegations against Rickert on Jan. 2, according to the affidavit.

The abuse reportedly happened at Rickert’s home on Pine Tree Loop in Mayflower.

The teenager told police he was at Rickert’s home playing video games when the then-50-year-old held him down on a couch and forced him to perform oral sex, the affidavit states.

“During a game using virtual reality (VR) goggles, the juvenile male stated while he had the VR headset on playing the game, William Tod Rickert removed his clothes, pulled the VR head set off him (the juvenile male) then forced him down to a nearby couch,” the affidavit reads in part. “The victim stated that he was still fully dressed with William Todd Rickert naked holding him down with one hand to his chest.”

The teenager, who currently lives in Oklahoma, told authorities that he left Rickert’s home on the day in question following the alleged abuse “and did not tell anyone about the incident until recently.”

Because the teenager did not live in Arkansas when he disclosed the abuse, the Tulsa Oklahoma Police Department and Children’s Advocacy Center of Tulsa, Oklahoma, assisted the Mayflower Police Department by interviewing the boy.

Rickert was questioned on Jan. 8 regarding the allegations against him. At the time he was questioned, online records show he was incarcerated at the Newton County Detention Center in Kentland, Indiana.

Online records also show that Rickert is a registered sex offender who was found guilty of child molestation and criminal confinement in 2003. According to an affidavit, the Mayflower man was previously convicted of “engaging in sexual contact with a 3-year-old female while visiting her home.”

Rickert is scheduled to appear Friday morning via video conference before a Faulkner County district judge for a first appearance hearing.

Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached at mhicks@thecabin.net

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