Roger Bates, 57, of London, Arkansas has been sentenced to 60 years in prison and ordered to pay $4000 in restitution for child pornography production. Chief United States District, Judge P.K. Holmes III presided over the sentencing.
A release issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), stated that the accused was sentenced Tuesday in FORT SMITH, Arkansas and is not eligible for parole.
Bates pleaded guilty to federal charges of production of child pornography Aug. 13. His sentencing was made possible with the efforts of the ICE, HIS, the Arkansas State Police and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
Western District of Arkansas, United States Attorney Eldridge said, “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 the release, court documents showed that Bates created pornographic images of a 7-year-old girl and at least two other minors. In May 2011, Bikers Against Child Abuse reported to law enforcement that Bates was taking sexual photos of minors. During a subsequent investigation, law enforcement uncovered multiple child pornography images when they executed a search warrant at Bates’ residence.
HSI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge, Raymond R. Parmer Jr. said: “Violating an innocent child is one of the most horrific crimes imaginable. While no punishment can undo the harm suffered by these victims, investigating and prosecuting sexual predators to the fullest extent of the law is one of our highest priorities.” HSI New Orleans oversees a five-state region including Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers.
According to a press release issued by the Western District of Arkansas, United States Attorney’s Office, the 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.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form available 24/7.
Project Safe Childhood: www.projectsafechildhood.gov