A 48-year-old Fort Smith man who performed as a clown at children's events has pleaded guilty to one count of downloading child pornography in federal district court, a U.S. attorney said in a statement Monday.
Thomas Morgan, who also is known as "Sondance the Clown," faces at least a five-year mandatory sentence and a 20-year maximum sentence in prison, according to the news release. He also faces a five-year supervised release after serving his prison sentence and will have to register as a sex offender.
In June 2012, police arrested Morgan after authorities detected illegal child pornography images being downloaded through an Internet file-sharing network to a computer registered to Morgan, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously reported.
Police executed a search warrant at Morgan's residence and seized his desktop computer and "other digital media" as evidence, the release states.
Morgan was booked in Sebastian County jail on a $100,000 bond and was later freed in August on a $50,000 bond pending his trial after he signed a form stating that he could not have contact with anyone under 18.
Morgan pled not guilty in Sebastian County court to four charges in possessing child pornography in July, according to the Associated Press.
The Fort Smith Police Department is investigating Morgan's case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Candace Taylor is representing the United States as a prosecutor in federal district court.