Two in Union Parish accused of sexual acts with children - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Two in Union Parish accused of sexual acts with children

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UNION PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Two Union Parish men have been arrested accused of sexual acts with children.

Justin Echols, 37, of Marion, is charged with two counts of aggravated rape of children 5 and 8 years old. His total bond is set at $500,000.

Cody Steven Cunningham, 28, of Downsville, is facing charges of aggravated incest with a child when she was between the ages 6 to 9, bond totaling $50,000.

Union Parish Sheriff Dusty Gates said a complaint was filed against Echols in late August. The investigation was turned over to Louisiana State Police because the suspect is related to a Sheriff's Office employee. During their investigation, LSP conducted forensic interviews and medical examinations with the victims.

"Based on that evidence warrants were issued for his arrest," Gates said.

Sheriff Gates said Echols was arrested in Pennsylvania where he was employed on a pipeline project and was returned to Union Parish on Tuesday. The investigation into Cunningham's activities began with the father, living in Arkansas, filing a complaint. The investigation revealed that the alleged sexual activity took place at the suspect's residence at Downsville. The investigation resulted in a warrant being issued for Cunningham's arrest that occurred Tuesday.

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