LITTLE ROCK—A Cabot man was sentenced Tuesday on charges of attempted enticement of a minor, attempted production of child pornography, and possession of child pornography. United States District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright sentenced Robert Nathan Hensley, 57, to 420 months in federal prison. Cody Hiland, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Little Rock Field Office, announced today’s sentencing.
During an online investigation in 2017, investigators placed an advertisement on Craigslist titled “young, fresh, petite.” The advertisement received hundreds of responses, and an undercover officer began texting some of those who responded to the ad, including Robert Hensley.
The undercover officer told Hensley he had a 14-year-old daughter, and Hensley told the officer to “bring her to me” because he had a “machine” that he would use to have sex with the child. Hensley also asked the undercover officer if he would “want to sell her” and offered $3,000 to buy the minor, stating, “She gets a lifetime of bondage and sex.” He also asked for nude photos of the minor.
Officers arranged to meet Hensley and drove to Cabot. Hensley provided his home address, where officers arrived and arrested him. They located a computer at his residence, which was examined and found to contain images of child pornography. On November 2, 2017, a grand jury indicted Hensley on charges of attempted enticement of a minor, attempted production of child pornography, and possession of child pornography. On March 5, 2019, Hensley was convicted by a jury on all counts.
“This defendant’s attempt to purchase a 14-year-old girl for sex is depraved behavior and will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Hiland. “Today’s lengthy sentence means this defendant is no longer free to prey upon the most vulnerable among us. Our office will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute those who seek to victimize children.”
Before the 2017 investigation, Hensley had already been convicted of two sexual crimes involving minors. He had a 1996 conviction for sexual solicitation of a child and a 2003 conviction for criminal attempt to engage children in sexually explicit conduct. His prior convictions increased the mandatory minimum sentence in his case to 35 years. In addition to 35 years in prison, Judge Wright also sentenced Hensley to a lifetime of supervised release following his term of imprisonment.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kristin Bryant.
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