An Evans man has been charged with sexually assaulting a fourth-grade girl.

Jack Lee Melton, 78, 113 Whirlaway Drive, Evans, was charged with four counts of first-degree sexual assault.

Melton allegedly had inappropriate sexual contact with the girl in his home, according to a criminal complaint filed in Jackson County Magistrate Court.

The girl’s age is not listed in court records, but the criminal complaint states she was in fourth grade when police learned about the alleged sexual assaults.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department learned of the allegations from the victim’s mother and grandmother. The girl’s mother said her daughter had been acting out in recent months.

She described one incident in which she caught the child mimicking a sex act with a stuffed caterpillar. When asked where she learned the behavior, the girl eventually broke down and told her mother Melton had touched her inappropriately, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint states Melton is an acquaintance and the girl thought of him as being “like a grandfather.”

The girl told her mother about one incident in late summer or early fall of 2018 at Melton’s residence. He allegedly had her lay down on the couch, where he put his hands down her pants, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, the Child Advocacy Center conducted an interview with the girl. She described several incidents in the summer of 2018 in which Melton allegedly had inappropriate sexual contact with her at his residence. These included incidents in which Melton allegedly put his hand down the girl’s pants or performed oral sex on her.

According to the complaint, the girl was outgoing and pleasant at the start of the interview, but when the interviewer asked about Melton she began to cry and asked for her mother.

During an interview with police, Melton said the girl visited his home often, and they would spend time alone in the house. He said she would sit on his lap and even held his hand, but he said he never touched her inappropriately.