Helena-West Helena's parks and recreation director has been arrested and now faces charges of two counts of sexual assault, abuse of authority and indecent exposure. H-WHPD officials confirmed the arrest Friday.
Mayor Arnell Willis hired Anthony Banks as parks and recreation director in 2011.
In a press release issued Friday, Willis announced that the city of Helena-West Helena has suspended Banks with pay pending the outcome of the allegations made against him.
“This difficult decision,” said Willis, “is in his best interest as well as the city's.”
Willis went onto say that, “As mayor, my prayers are with Mr. Banks and his family as he fights to clear his name through the judicial system. I'd like to remind citizens that a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Mr. Banks deserves our patience to allow the court system to resolve this matter before rushing to a premature judgment.”
The two sexual assault charges Banks faces are Class C felonies, abuse of authority is a Class D felony and the indecent exposure charge is a misdemeanor.
Banks' bond was set at $50,000. He is currently out on bail.
A hearing/arraignment in the case is set for January. A court date could be set as soon as three months.