FORT SMITH, Ark. — An Arkansas university professor was arraigned on child pornography charges in federal court Monday following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Arkansas State Police.
Travis Brown, 44, was indicted Jan. 29 on five felony charges, including four counts of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Brown is an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas in Fort Smith.
"Individuals who trade child pornography further the re-victimization of innocent children who've been subjected to sexual exploitation," said HSI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr. "This case shows HSI investigators are actively working to disrupt the trade of these illegal images, and also to identify and seek prosecution of the criminals who possess them."
Parmer oversees a five-state region including Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
The office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas is prosecuting the case.
"Crimes that victimize children, including child pornography offenses, remain among the highest priorities for my office. We will continue to bring those involved in these despicable crimes to justice," said U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge.
The charges in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless or until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.