Linker rape trial scheduled for April 2021
By Scott Loftis
A former Eureka Springs man who faces multiple charges including rape and kidnapping is scheduled to go on trial in April 2021, nearly two years after the crimes allegedly occurred.
Special Circuit Judge Gary Arnold issued an order on Sept. 16 scheduling Joseph Linkerís jury trial to begin on April 26, 2021, in Eureka Springs. Linker had been scheduled for trial beginning Sept. 17, but public defender Beau Allen requested at a July hearing that the trial be rescheduled.
Arnoldís order indicated the trial is expected to take three days.
Linker, 44, was arrested on May 24, 2019, after his former live-in girlfriend told police that he held her against her will and raped her multiple times on May 14-15 at the apartment they shared in Eureka Springs.
He was freed on a $50,000 bond but was arrested again in July after allegedly violating the terms of a no-contact order.
After a hearing on Aug. 23, 2019, Arnold reinstated Linkerís bond and he was released from the county jail later that day.
Several witnesses who testified at that hearing disputed the alleged victimís version of events regarding the alleged violations of the no-contact order, as well as the original allegations in the rape case.
Linker testified that he would live with his father in the Little Rock area after his release.
Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Dan Kemp appointed Arnold, a Saline County circuit judge, to preside over Linkerís case in July 2019 after Carroll County Circuit Judge Scott Jackson granted a defense motion asking him to recuse himself from the case.