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TEXARKANA, Ark. — Two Arkansas-side brothers are facing charges of rape in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of a younger male relative.

Joseph Lynn Baker, 21, and Joshua Oneal Baker, 20, were arrested July 30 by the Miller County Sheriff's Office. They are accused of forcing a male relative to engage in sexual activity beginning when the alleged victim was 12, according to a probable cause affidavit. The alleged victim is now 17.

Joshua Baker
Joseph Baker

The Baker brothers would have been approximately 15 and 16 when the alleged abuse started. The alleged victim reported that the abuse stopped when he was 15, when the brothers would have been approximately 18 and 19. The brothers are approximately 18 months apart in age.

The alleged victim reported that the brothers threatened to "do him harm and beat him up" if he told anyone about the assaults, the affidavit states. The alleged victim disclosed the abuse to his mother and she reported the case to the Miller County Sheriff's Office.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell said the brothers are charged as adults even though they were minors when the sexual abuse allegedly began. Mitchell said the juvenile justice system is not equipped to punish adult offenders and noted that the brothers could have been charged as adults despite their ages had the allegations been brought to law enforcement when they were still under 18. Additionally, the alleged victim claims the abuse did not end until after one or both brothers had turned 18.

Joseph Baker and Joshua Baker were arrested July 30. Both were released Aug. 1 on $30,000 bonds. They are prohibited from having any contact with the alleged victim.

Rape is punishable by 10 to 40 years or life in prison.

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