|Updated: 1/19/2012 1:52 pm
||Published: 1/19/2012 11:42 am
LITTLE ROCK, AR – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that a Sharp County man has been arrested by agents with the Attorney General’s Office for multiple counts of possession of child pornography.
Ricky G. Rothenberger, 46, of Cave City was arrested on January 18 following an investigation by the Cyber Crimes Unit of the Attorney General’s Office. Sharp County Circuit Judge Harold Erwin found probable cause to charge Rothenberger with 20 counts of distributing, possessing, or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony.
Rothenberger was being held in the Sharp County Detention Center in lieu of $100,000 bond.
“Our office is committed to protecting Arkansas children and families by investigating and arresting those who traffic in child pornography,” McDaniel said. “This arrest should send a message to anyone across the state that law enforcement will not tolerate crimes against children perpetrated on the Internet. We look forward to presenting the evidence in this case to a jury.”
Rothenberger was arrested after a forensic examination of electronic evidence seized from his home indicated that he was in possession of nearly 300 images of child pornography. The evidence, including a desktop computer, was seized in October when agents from the Attorney General’s Office executed a search warrant at Rothenberger’s residence, 311 Charleston, Lot No. 8, in Cave City. The evidence was analyzed at the Cyber Crimes Unit Forensic Lab in Little Rock.
Special Agent Chad Meli of the Attorney General’s Office began investigating Rothenberger in October, after suspecting that child pornography was being possessed at Rothenberger’s address.
The Sharp County Sheriff’s Office and Cave City Police Department assisted in the execution of the search warrant.
Third Judicial District Prosecutor Henry Boyce appointed Assistant Attorney General Bart Dickinson as a special prosecutor in the case.
“I appreciate the hard work of Mr. Boyce, the Sharp County Sheriff’s Office and the Cave City Police Department for their hard work and assistance in this investigation,” McDaniel said.