A Van Buren man had to be forcibly removed from a Crawford County courtroom after he had a sexual assault conviction revoked for violating the court’s order to have no contact with the minor victim.
Kenneth William Burris, 26, began yelling profanities and making threats Wednesday after Circuit Judge Gary R. Cottrell sentenced Burris to 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction with an additional 10 years suspended.
Burris had asked if he could say goodbye to his fiancee, who had testified in his defense and was in the courtroom.
After Cottrell denied the request, Burris became violent when he was ordered from the courtroom. He was gang tackled and led from the courtroom by bailiff Mark Bloomfield, probation officer Kyla Payton, Arkansas State Police Trooper Dale Howard, Deputy Prosecutor Shane Griffin and and Anthony Whitman.
Burris’ fiancee and mother also were escorted from the courtroom.
On April 13, 2015, Burris pleaded guilty to rape and two counts of second-degree sexual assault and had a 15-year prison sentence suspended on the condition he be on probation for five years, pay a $1,000 fine and $170 court costs, register as a sex offender and have no contact with the victims.
According to police reports, Burris was arrested after two minor females reported to Hamilton House Child Safety Center staff that he had sexually assaulted them.
The report was initiated after one female claimed she was asleep on the couch in her home when she awoke to find Burris rubbing her crotch.
The victim yelled for Burris to get off of her and told her mother about the incident, who then reported the claim. The girl said she believed it had happened before, but said nothing because she was not sure at the time.
Her sister, also a minor, told Hamilton House staff that Burris had abused her over the course of two years, going so far as to penetrate her vagina four times with his fingers.
During the Wednesday hearing, one of the minor victims testified she had contact with Burris on more than one occasion. Burris testified the contact was the fault of the victim and her mother, not his.
Lisa Whetstine of the prosecuting attorney’s office also testified Burris had not made regular payments toward a $1,000 fine and $170 court costs.
While in prison, Burris was ordered to complete the sexual offender program.