Stephens County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man who reportedly “wanted to take responsibility” in a case where the defendant faces charges of lewd acts with a child.

According to Stephens County court records, Juan Ivan Espinosa-Villagran faces one count of lewd or indecent acts to a child under 16.

Affidavits from lawmen show deputies were dispatched to a location in Meridian around 10:20 p.m. Feb. 1 for reports of Espinosa-Villagran allegedly touching a child inappropriately.

When deputies arrived on scene, they met with three adults, including Espinosa-Villagran who “came down the stairs and turned around and placed his hands behind his back,” reports show. Before he was handcuffed, deputies conducted a pat down search on Espinosa-Villagran when he allegedly told law enforcement he “wanted to take responsibility for his actions,” affidavits state.

Deputies placed Espinosa-Villagran in handcuffs and advised him he wasn’t under arrest, but in investigative detention. He was then transported to the sheriff’s office for an interview.

In the interview, Espinosa-Villagran was released from his handcuffs, records show. Investigators interviewed Espinosa-Villagran, who admitted to touching the child three times underneath their clothing. Deputies reported Espinosa-Villagran “showed” them what happened by using himself as a demonstration.

Then, Espinosa-Villagran was placed under arrest and booked into jail.

Reports show interviews with the child indicated this could have happened “as many as 10-12 incidences,” and the child also told lawmen about finding Espinosa-Villagran allegedly touching himself inappropriately while laying in bed with another child. 

In the interview, the child told law enforcement Espinosa-Villagran covered himself quickly but not fast enough to stop them from seeing what was happening.

Bond for Espinosa-Villagran was set at $300,000. A preliminary hearing conference for Espinosa-Villagran is scheduled for 9 a.m. March 25.

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