LUXORA, Ark. — A man has been charged with sexual assault after being accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a minor.
The Mississippi County Sheriff's Office received a tip saying a Luxora volunteer firefighter who goes by "Candy Man" might have impregnated a 14-year-old.
Investigators learned the suspect was 42-year-old Candelario "Candy" Mireles.
The teen said she and Mireles started a sexual relationship last summer. She also said he told her he loved her, and they could go public with their relationship when she turned 18.
The teen said he helped her run away from home in October and gave her several cellphones, money and an engagement ring.
She said when she broke up with him, he stalked her by driving by her house with his fire sirens on, staring at her and sending her friend requests on social media.
The alleged victim's brother told WREG he used to be good friends with Mireles and never saw any warning signs.
"It's hard to take in right now. I've known him for years. He seemed like a good friend to me," he said. "She's still tore up about it. Every day she tries to forget about it, but something else brings it up. She starts bursting out in tears and crying."
Mireles denied all the accusations, according to the Mississippi County Sheriff's Office.
He said he had frequently visited the victim's home, but that was to hang out with her brothers.
He also said he tried to mentor the girl after her mother died.
Mireles has been charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
He has been suspended from the fire department pending the investigation.
He made his $50,000 bond.
WREG went to Mireles' address listed on court records, but the man in the house said he moved out weeks ago.