Terlingua Man Convicted of Multiple Obscenity Crimes Involving Children
WASHINGTON – A Texas man was convicted by a federal jury today for operating a website dedicated to publishing writings that detailed the sexual abuse of children.
Nicholas L. McQuaid, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Gregg N. Sofer, U.S. Attorney of the Western District of Texas; and Luis M. Quesada, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s El Paso Field Office made the announcement.
After a three-day trial, Thomas Alan Arthur, 64, of Terlingua, was convicted of three counts of trafficking in obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of a child, five counts of trafficking in obscene text stories about the sexual abuse of children, and one count of engaging in the business of selling obscene matters involving the sexual abuse of children.
According to trial evidence, Arthur began operating the Mr. Double website in 1996, and began charging members for access to the site in 1998. The website was dedicated to publishing writings that detail the sexual abuse of children, including the rape, torture, and murder of infants and toddlers. The evidence at trial showed that all submissions for publication were reviewed and approved by Arthur before he posted them on the site. Some of the author pages contained drawings depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Evidence at trial showed that the website was Arthur’s sole source of income for more than 20 years. The site was taken offline in November 2019 when the FBI executed a search warrant at his residence near Terlingua, where Arthur administered the site. Pursuant to our Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the Netherlands, additional evidence was obtained from the server in the Netherlands where the site was hosted.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 19, 2021.
Trial Attorney Austin M. Berry of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Assistant U.S. Attorney Monica Morrison of the Middle District of Tennessee, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Fidel Esparza of the Western District of Texas are prosecuting the case with assistance from the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.
The FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Department of Public Safety, and Brewster County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc.