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Former UCA professor sentenced to 75 years in child-porn case

by Debra Hale-Shelton | September 1, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

CONWAY -- A former University of Central Arkansas professor was sentenced to 75 years in prison Thursday for possession of child pornography.

Noel Campbell, 47, had pleaded guilty Aug. 7 to 13 child-pornography counts and did not contest 213 other counts. The prosecution agreed to drop the remaining 84 counts filed against him in 2015. The exact charge -- distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit-conduct involving a child -- is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison for each count.

The sentence, part of a negotiated plea agreement, means Campbell will be eligible for parole consideration in 12 years, attorneys on both sides agreed.

"Mr. Campbell's case dealt with hundreds of graphic images and videos of pre-pubescent children being exploited, sexually assaulted and raped," Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jordan Crews said in a text message after the hearing. "It is important that people who knowingly obtain, desire and keep these images and videos are punished."

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Defense attorney Jeff Rosenzweig said Campbell chose to take the plea deal rather than face a jury which could have given him "a much longer sentence."

Still, Rosenzweig said "I think the sentencing ranges are way out of control on these" possession offenses.

Campbell resigned from his position as an economics professor at UCA in mid-April 2015 after being suspended and banned from campus because of his April 3, 2015, arrest.

Campbell made no statement in Faulkner County Circuit Court other than to answer Judge Charles Clawson Jr.'s questions.

Clawson had allowed Campbell to remain free pending sentencing.

Wearing khaki shorts and a T-shirt, Campbell was composed during sentencing. Seated behind him in the courtroom was his wife, who kissed him twice before he walked to the front for sentencing and later was handcuffed and taken away. She buried her face in her hands, then cried as her husband stood up front, his hands first clasped behind him and later at his sides.

The 13 counts to which Campbell pleaded guilty related to images on his personal laptop. He did not contest other counts which arose from child pornography on his UCA-owned computer at his former university office.

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State Desk on 09/01/2017

Print Headline: Sentence is 75 years in child-porn case; Ex-professor pleaded guilty Aug. 7

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