An Arkansas man put up a controversial sign on his property to defend and protect his teenage daughter.
Shelton Kitchens of Heth, Arkansas, was shocked and angered to learn his 16-year-old daughter had been in a sexual relationship with a 21-year-old man.
"I find my daughter like she’s almost eaten alive," Kitchens told WREG. "It’s sickening when you raise her shirt and look at it. Hickeys all over."
The 21-year-old man lives near Kitchens' tire shop. The father says his daughter was "lured in by puppies."
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After learning about his daughter's relationship with the older man, Kitchens called the St. Francis County Sheriff's Office to report what happened. He spoke with a deputy, who told him they were unable to file any criminal charges because everything was consensual and because his daughter is 16, which is the age of consent in Arkansas.
"He called Crimes Against Children in Little Rock," Kitchens said. "They said they can't do nothing about it because she's 16-years-old."
When police said they were unable to do anything, Kitchens decided to take matters into his own hands.
In an attempt to raise awareness in the neighborhood, he put up a sign that read: "Danger! Child molester lives in first house on the right."
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The sign also includes the man's last name.
The sign received a lot of attention, Kitchens and his co-workers say. Photos of the sign spread on social media, and people began talking about it around town.
One of Kitchen's co-workers, Marcus Rickman, said of the sign: "It's going viral. That's what we want it to do."
Kitchens hopes the attention the sign is receiving will help spread his message and that perhaps the age of consent in Arkansas will be raised from 16 to 18.
State lawmakers said they were not prepared to comment on the issue when asked by WREG.
"I want awareness put to other parents so they don't have to go through what I've gone through the last few days," Kitchens said.
While many support Kitchens and his message, some passersby couldn't get behind it.
"The only thing he can really do is be mad at his daughter," one man told WREG. "He can't be mad at that guy."
Kitchens says his daughter has since stopped seeing the 21-year-old man and that she has been left traumatized by the ordeal. He says she will likely have to go to therapy.