by Max Brantley
Prosecuting Attorney Ken Casady announced today that Joshua Paul Hanke, 25, of Lonsdale (pictured) pleaded guilty to Kidnapping, Sexual Assault in the Second Degree and Terroristic Threatening in the First Degree. He was sentenced by the Honorable Gary Arnold to 15 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections to be followed by an additional 5 years of suspended imposition of sentence and will be required to register as a sex offender.
Hanke was found guilty of taking his estranged wife to a wooded area off of Fairplay Road in Saline County (Sept. 24, 2009) and dragging her by her hair from his truck into the woods. His wife managed to call 911 from her cell phone and was able to tell the dispatcher that she was somewhere off of Fairplay Road before her battery went dead. When Hanke found out she had called 911 he took her cell phone and smashed it and then dragged her to a man made hole that he referred to as her “grave” and sexually assaulted her. Law enforcement officials found Hanke’s truck near a newly developed subdivision off of Fairplay Road and as they were looking for the victim she and Hanke emerged from the woods both naked from the waste [sic] down. Hanke was apprehended but was able to free himself and run from law enforcement officials. He was later apprehended at the home of his father, Saline County Justice of the Peace Kim Hanke. The victim was taken to the hospital where she underwent treatment for her injuries and a sexual assault examination.
Casady stated “this conviction took a lot of hard work and man hours because of the defendant’s constant scheming ways even from inside his jail cell. It sends a strong message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated from any of those who choose to commit such heinous acts.” I would also like to thank the Saline County Sheriff’s Department, Detective Ron Parsons, Detective Jason Ballard and my deputy prosecutors, Carrie Robertson and Andy Gill, for all the time and hard work they put into this investigation.
The State was represented by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Carrie Robertson and Deputy Prosecutor Attorney Andy Gill. The defendant was represented by Justin Eisele.