HETH, Ark. — An Arkansas dad is using a handmade sign on his property to defend and protect his daughter.
Shelton Kitchens said he recently learned that his 16-year-old daughter was in a sexual relationship with a 21-year-old man.
"I find my daughter like she’s almost eaten alive. It’s sickening when you raise her shirt and look at it. Hickeys all over," he told WREG.
Kitchens said the man lives near his tire shop.
"She got lured in by puppies," he said.
Kitchens called the St. Francis County Sheriff’s Office and with a deputy but they said they couldn't file criminal charges.
"He called Crimes Against Children in Little Rock. They said they can’t do nothing about it because she’s 16 years old," he said.
That age -- 16 -- is the age of consent in Arkansas. There was nothing law enforcement officers could do.
So Kitchens started a public awareness campaign, putting a sign up that reads, "Danger! Child molester lives in first house on the right," and lists the man's last name at the bottom.
Kitchens and his co-workers said they have received much attention for the sign, which has been shared widely on social media.
They hope it will spread a message and push lawmakers to raise the age of consent to 18.
Not everyone who drives by the sign is sympathetic, but Kitchens said he won't stop.
"I want awareness put to other parents so they don’t have to go through what I've gone through the last few days," Kitchens said.
Kitchens said his daughter stopped seeing the 21-year-old and that she’s traumatized. He said she’ll probably have to go to therapy.
WREG spoke with state lawmakers, who said they were not yet prepared to comment on the issue.