Husband and wife arrested in connection with sexual abuse charges

Suspect is local young-adult author

A husband and wife were arrested Friday by Bella Vista Police, in connection with charges relating to the sexual abuse of two toddlers.

Douglas Jay Pershing, 54, of Cullen Hills Drive in Bella Vista was arrested in connection with second degree sexual assault, a Class B felony. Tamy Lynn Pershing, 46, was arrested in connection with the failure to notify by a mandated reporter (a teacher) and endangering the welfare of a minor, both misdemeanors.

According to the arrest affidavit, Bella Vista Police were notified August 10 of a sexual abuse investigation out of Henderson, Nev. One victim, a four-year-old female, had described to her parents an incident that happened at the Pershings’ home in Bella Vista. The affidavit also states the victim’s two-year-old sister was involved as well.

According to the affidavit, the Pershings are family friends of the victims’ parents, who live in Nevada.

According to the affidavit, the four-year-old victim said Douglas Pershing “let” her touch him on about 20 different occasions, and she described masturbating Pershing “until the milk comes out.” The four-year-old also said the two-year-old has touched Pershing, the affidavit states.

When interviewed by Lt. Barb Shrum of the Bella Vista Police Department, Pershing said the victim had seen him naked several times, getting dressed or getting out of the shower, according to the affidavit. When asked by Shrum if the victim had ever touched Pershing’s erect penis, Pershing answered “I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure. No I don’t think so,” according to the affidavit.

The four-year-old said Tamy Pershing walked in on them and caught them, and told Doug Pershing “to stop and not do it again,” according to the affidavit. The affidavit states Tamy Pershing is a sixth-grade language arts teacher at Arkansas Arts Academy, and that “she’s always careful with Doug around her school, so she doesn’t put him in a bad situation.”

Pershing is the author of a science fiction series for young adults called Shifters.

The two were arrested at the Bella Vista Police Department, and transported to the Benton County Jail.


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