Police & Fire

Gum Springs taxidermist faces rape charge

Michael Shepherd

A taxidermist and butcher in Gum Springs, Arkansas, is accused of sexual assault and rape


The victim came forward recently with accusations nearly 10 years after the assaults began. Now an adult, the victim was barely a teenager when the alleged misconduct started, and a young adult when it came to a halt.

Michael Wayne Shepherd, now 63, faces one count of rape and two counts of second-degree sexual assault. Shepherd is the owner and operator of Shep’s Taxidermy & Custom Meats on Snyder Road in Gum Springs.

The victim first reported harassment by Shepherd to police in Hot Spring County, who referred the case to Sgt. Sherry Cleek of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. This summer, Cleek conducted interviews with both the victim and Shepherd who, according to court records, would go on to describe the “deviant sexual activity” with the girl.

Following the issuance of an arrest warrant earlier this month, Shepherd turned himself in on Oct. 3 and was later released from custody after posting a $40,000 bond.

In the most recent court filings, Shepherd has entered a plea of not guilty and is due in court again in December.

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