Valley man arrested on suspicion of sexual assault<br>

Authorities have arrested a 63-year-old Cottonwood businessman and convicted sex offender on suspicion of sexual abusing two former female employees in 2000.

Donald Charles Speirs, who resides in Camp Verde, was arrested Wednesday at 10 a.m. at his business, Cottonwood police said. Authorities are not releasing the name of the business in order to protect the identity of the victims, Detective Monica Kuhlt said.

Speirs is charged with five counts of sexual abuse involving two female employees. Verde Valley Justice of the Peace Joe Butner set Speirs’ bond at $500,000 Thursday morning.

The sexual abuse, which Kuhlt described as fondling incidents, occurred between August and November of 2000.

According to the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office, Speirs is a registered sex offender, who was convicted of sexual molesting a 10-year-old girl while on vacation in Washington in November 1997. He served an unknown amount of time in the Washington Department of Corrections before being placed on "community confinement" in July 1998. He has been living in the Verde Valley since at least August of last year.

Mingus students arrested for allegedly robbing four younger students

Four Mingus Union High School students were arrested Tuesday after allegedly threatening and intimidating four younger students and stealing their bikes.

The robbery occurred at Dr. Daniel Bright School around 7 p.m. Sunday night, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Edward Martin Trujillo, 16, Cornville; Josh Paul Coriz, 16, Cottonwood; Jose Jesus Machado, 18, Cottonwood; and Enrique Rios, 16, Cottonwood, were arrested for allegedly stealing three bikes from three 11-year-old boys and a 15-year-old boy.

The Mingus students confronted the other boys and accused them of stealing a pager left unattended during a basketball game at Dr. Daniel Bright School, YCSO reported. The Mingus students allegedly held the boys against their will for an hour, made them empty their pockets and told the younger boys they had a gun. The Mingus students then allegedly took the bikes as collateral until the pager was returned.

The Mingus boys allegedly admitted to being involved in the theft after being interviewed by a school resource officer Tuesday.

Trujillo told the resource officer there was no gun and they only said that to scare the boys.

All four Mingus students were arrested for armed robbery and unlawful imprisonment.

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