Heflin man accused of drugging, raping teen

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Ashworth
Ashworth

HEFLIN — A Heflin man has been charged with simple rape for allegedly drugging, then sexually assaulting a female juvenile.

Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton said 40-year-old Shannon Carl Ashworth, who gave an address in the 2000 block of Franklin Road, has been charged with simple rape after he was picked up on a warrant issued Friday.

“We were contacted by Springhill police after the 16-year-old victim and her mother reported the sexual assault,” Sexton said. “The victim told officers that Ashworth gave her something to drink and she became drowsy. She told officers she awoke with him on top of her, raping her.”

Detectives learned Ashworth had briefly dated the victim’s mother, Sexton said. Sheriff’s detectives didn’t take long to make the arrest after Springhill police notified them, the sheriff added.

“We received the phone call around 7 p.m. and had him in custody for questioning by 9 p.m.,” Sexton said. “By 11:30, he was in the parish prison.”

Sexton said at the time detectives picked up Ashworth, they received consent to search his vehicle and cell phone. The sheriff said evidence of child pornography was discovered on the suspect’s cell phone.

Ashworth was on parole until 2017 for charges of convicted felon in possession of a firearm and possession of CDS Sch. IV, Sexton said. He reportedly also has a 2001 conviction for carnal knowledge of a juvenile.

Ashworth is currently being held at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center on $150,000 bond, and has a probation and parole hold.

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