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Jury trial requested

A Van Buren man accused of using his cell phone to take photos of two boys in the restroom at a local elementary school has requested a Crawford County Circuit Court jury trial.

Keith Wayne Dickens, 42, is charged with two counts of video voyerism.

On Monday, Dickens’ attorney Jared Medlock requested the jury trial.

However, Judge Gary R. Cottrell gave Dickens 10 days to enter a plea before a jury trial is scheduled for either the week of Sept. 30 or Oct. 7.

Dickens was arrested Jan. 8 by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department after it was reported he took photographs of two second-grade boys at Tate Elementary School, said Crawford County Chief Deputy Jim Damante.

While using the urinals in the restroom, the two boys saw an arm holding a cell phone extend from the adjacent stall, they told police. The phone faced each boy as they moved around the room, they said.

When they left the restroom, the boys told a female teacher who was standing outside about the incident, Damante said.

After waiting to see who would exit the restroom, the teacher saw Dickens leave the restroom and reported it to Tate principal Robert Childers, Damante said. Van Buren School District officials then contacted the sheriff’s department.

Both boys, when interviewed by police, were able to describe in detail the phone and clothing of the suspect, Damante said.

Dickens was arrested and interviewed by deputies. Dickens admitted to taking photos of the boys and then deleting them, Damante said.

Dickens was released from the Crawford County Detention Center on a $7,500 bond.

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