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The case was initiated this year by a girl who said Garretson, a truck driver, raped her in 2014 when he took her on a multi-state trip. Garretson had received a waiver from the trucking company to have a passenger.

Attorney Kenneth Elser announced today that Clarence Garretson, 65, of Van Buren, had pleaded guilty today in federal court to five counts of interstate transportation of a child with intention to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Garretson acknowledged in his plea agreement that he'd taken the child on the trip with the intent to engage in sexual activity.

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Although many of the former foster children that were placed in GARRETSON'S home are now over the age of 18 and therefore, are no longer minors, the federal statute of limitations does not preclude federal prosecution for federal offenses committed against "a child under the age of 18 years" during the life of the child or for ten years after the offense, whichever is longer.

As you know, I am prohibited by law from talking about specific maltreatment investigations, foster care records and calls into the child abuse hotline.

The safety of our foster children is our number one priority, and we do everything we can on the front end to make sure the people wanting to serve as foster parents will provide safe, loving and stable homes.

We conduct state and federal background checks, child maltreatment checks, home studies, and training.

When the Van Buren Police Department determined the abuse had occurred outside of Arkansas, he contacted the FBI.

The plea agreement also states that Garretson and his wife had been approved by the Arkansas Department of Human Services to operate a foster home in 1998 and later were approved to become an adoptive home.When that happens today, we act swiftly to ensure youth in foster care are in safe homes.The system for vetting foster families is much stronger and more thorough today than it was 20 years ago.At the time of the offense, she was over 13 years of age, and less than 18 and the conduct engaged in was sexual intercourse. * In 1999, DHS placed Minor #3 and his two older sisters in the Garretson home, and Minor #3 was legally adopted by them in 2001.Minor #3 was interviewed by the FBI Special Agent in July, 2016 and disclosed that Garretson had taken him on long distance truck trips starting in the summer of 2001 when he was 11 years old and that he had sexually assaulted him on multiple trips during summer vacation from school in 20.It is simply wrong for a state agency to hide behind a shield of confidentiality meant to protect children when exactly the opposite result occurred. She disclosed that Garretson had taken her on over-the-road truck trips when she was his foster child.

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