FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2012
Fort Smith, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Roger Bates, age 57 of London, Arkansas, was sentenced today to 60 years imprisonment without the possibility of parole for producing child pornography involving a seven (7) year old. Chief United States District Judge P.K. Holmes III, who presided over the sentencing, additionally ordered Bates to pay $4,000 in victim restitution.
United States Attorney Eldridge commented, “The conduct at issue in this case involving small children was reprehensible, and this defendant has now been held accountable. No crimes are worse than those that victimize our children. We will continue to aggressively prosecute crimes such as this.”
According to court records, on or about May of 2011, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by members of the Bikers Against Child Abuse organization with information that Bates had been taking sexual photos of minors. During a subsequent investigation, a search warrant was executed at Bates’s residence, which revealed multiple sexually explicit images of a seven year old female. Subsequently, Bates was arrested and charged in federal court with production of child pornography. On August 13, 2012, Bates pleaded guilty to producing sexual explicit images of a minor. At sentencing, Chief District Court Judge Holmes was provided evidence by the Government that Bates, in addition to producing images of the seven year old female, had produced sexual explicit images of at least two other minors.
The case was investigated by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Roberts prosecuted the case for the United States.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006, by the Department of Justice. PSC is led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and their Criminal Division Child Exploitation and Obscenity Sections (CEOS). PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
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