FRIDAY JANUARY 13, 2006 Last modified: Friday, December 30, 2005 4:29 PM CST
Sex offender arrested
by MELINDA W. BIGELOW, Press Argus-Courier Staff
A repeat sex offender has been charged with video voyeurism after reportedly taking photos of a young boy using the restroom in a Van Buren store.
Jimmy Don Chronister, 40, of Fort Smith was arrested for video voyeurism Monday night according to Detective Sgt. Daniel Perry of the Van Buren Police Department. Chronister is in the Crawford County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
Chronister is a registered sex offender. He was released from prison in 2001 after serving a 42-month sentence for sexual assault of a 6-year-old boy. In 1993, his first degree sexual assault of his adopted daughter resulted in three years in prison.
The video voyeurism, a Class D felony, occurred when a 9-year-old local boy went into the restroom at the Wal-Mart Supercenter while his father waited outside the door for him.
"The little boy looked down, saw someone taking a cell phone photo of him from the other stall; then pulled his pants up and got his dad," Perry said.
The child's father got Wal-Mart security who detained Chronister until police arrived, according to the police report.
Joseph Cole, Wal-Mart's loss prevention officer, told Van Buren police he observed Chronister take out his camera phone, pull up a picture and delete it after Cole had been sent in to watch Chronister, adding he would have kept Chronister from deleting the photo if he had known why the suspect was being held.
Police recovered a gray Cingular phone from Chronister. The young victim described a gray Cingular camera phone being stuck under the stall by a man wearing brown shoes.
Perry said Chronister had been in the restroom about 45 minutes before the child entered and remained in the stall until approached by Wal-Mart security.
The police report states Chronister was asked about the two incidents when he went to prison, but he did not want to tell about those times. Chronister said he had been trying to control his urges. Police asked "what kind of urges have you been having?" and he replied, "urges with both boys and girls" although he said he had not done anything.