Eclectic man faces sexual torture of child charge

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The small town of around 1,600 is typically quiet but that all changed for a few days when word got out that Eclectic police charged 42-year old James Owen Vaught with sexual torture.

Kyle Thomas works for his dad's auto service station in town and still can't believe it.

"That little girl couldn't defend herself," said Thomas.

Investigators say Vaught's alleged victim is a relative, a 3-year old girl and it reportedly happened once in a home, sexual torture because police say a 'device' was used in the alleged crime, although they wouldn't say what that device was.

"We'll never understand this kind of thinking," said Corporal R.A. Wilhoit.

Wilhoit declined to say whether Vaught confessed or what evidence they have but he did call it 'compelling.'

WSFA 12 News was unable to get Vaught's side of the story. Vaught hasn't made his $60,000 bond which is the maximum for this charge and court records show he does not have an attorney. He's currently in the Elmore County Jail.

Police tell WSFA 12 News the investigation started after the little girl said something to an adult, and we've also learned that Vaught is also wanted in Montgomery County on first degree sexual abuse. The victim in this case is said to be an under aged child.

Investigators say Mr. Vaught had no interest in being found but he was found hiding in the Sandal Wood Inn in Montgomery.

"He knew we would be looking for him," said Wilhoit.

In fact, it was Kyle Thomas who towed James Vaught's truck back to Eclectic where police combed it for evidence.

"I didn't know what it was when they called us but when I overheard them saying it was a 'sexual torture' case.. I was shocked," said Thomas.

James Vaught did not put up a fight when he was arrested and Eclectic authorities say Vaught did not have a criminal record until now.

As part of the investigation the toddler was taken to Elmore Community Hospital for an examination. She did not suffer any permanent physical damage.

If convicted James Vaught will likely get the minimum of 10 years in prison.

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