June 10, 2012

Vilonia woman on mission to keep sex offender behind bars

6-10-2012 Arkansas:

VILONIA — Michelle Collins believes convicted sex offender Royce David Eitel should remain in prison, and the Vilonia resident is doing all she can to help ensure that happens.

Eitel was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexual crimes involving three girls under 10. Collins is friends with two of the victims, one of whom is assisting Collins, and their families.

Eitel, now 52, “doesn’t need to be around children,” Collins said. “He needs to stay where he’s at.”

Collins has collected more than 500 signatures on a petition imploring the state Parole Board to keep Eitel behind bars. She has set up signature collection points at businesses in Vilonia, primarily the Citgo station and Dollar General.

“He did some very bad things to some children — not once, multiple times,” Collins said of Eitel. “He tried to groom the children. He victimized one little girl on a regular basis. That we know. He’s only been in [prison] four years.”

Eitel is being held at the Arkansas Department of Correction’s Ouachita River Unit at Malvern. His parole hearing is scheduled Wednesday, June 20, at Little Rock. Collins said she plans to be present for the 15-minute public hearing along with at least one of the victims.

“We actually can have 10 people there and we probably will,” Collins added.

Eitel was sentenced to 240 months for second-degree sexual assault; 60 months for sexual indecency with a child; and 60 months for indecent exposure. ..For the rest of this story: by Linda Hicks

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