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March 14, 2023Fayetteville, AR, United StatesChild Exploitation

Arkansas man sentenced to 33 years for sexually exploiting a minor, possession of child pornography

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A judge in the Western District of Arkansas sentenced a Springdale man to 33 years in prison for production and possession of child pornography on March 10 following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New Orleans.

According to court documents, in early 2022, the Springdale Police Department initiated a sexual assault investigation after a 13-year-old female disclosed to a counselor that Pearson Pete Patrick, 39, sexually abused her over the past two years. Officers located Patrick, who admitted to abusing the minor during a post-Miranda interview.

Law enforcement officials obtained a residential search warrant for Patrick’s residence. A forensic examination of the electronic devices taken from the residence revealed multiple homemade videos depicting the sexual abuse of the 13-year-old victim. Further analysis revealed that Patrick had also recorded other minors via a hidden camera staged in the bathroom of his residence.

“The significant sentence imposed sends a clear message that there are serious consequences for those who exploit the most vulnerable members of our society. This sentence reflects the heinous nature of the crime,” said HSI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Dave Denton. His office oversees the HSI New Orleans area of responsibility, which includes Arkansas. “HSI is wholly committed to working with our law enforcement and community partners to identify and bring to justice predators who traumatize and victimize children. We can only hope this sentencing serves as part of the healing process for the victim and their family.”

A grand jury in the Western District of Arkansas indicted Patrick in September 2022. He plead guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor via production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography in October.

Judge Timothy L. Brooks presided over the sentencing hearing in the U.S. District Court in Fayetteville. There is no parole in the federal system.

HSI Fayetteville, the Springdale Police Department and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tyler Williams prosecuted the case. HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Learn more about HSI’s mission @HSINewOrleans.