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Decatur man sentenced to 30 years in prison in child pornography case

by Tracy Neal | September 18, 2020 at 7:00 a.m.
Casey Rhodes

BENTONVILLE -- A Decatur man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

Casey Rhodes, 42, pleaded guilty to computer child pornography and five counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. The plea was under an agreement Lee Ward, Rhodes' attorney, reached with Sarah Rinehart, deputy prosecutor.

Rhodes was arrested Nov. 19 after a Rogers police officer -- acting as a 13-year-old girl -- responded to a post on Craigslist, according to a probable cause affidavit.

A person replied saying he was 41, male and from Decatur, according to the affidavit. The officer said he lived in Fayetteville with parents and was bored, according to the affidavit.

The two continued communicating. The officer requested a photograph of Rhodes. He sent a photograph of himself, and the officer compared the photograph to Rhodes' driver's license photograph, according to the affidavit.

Rinehart told Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green that Rhodes used the internet to seduce, solicit, lure and entice an individual to engage in sexually explicit conduct believing the person to be 13 years old. Rinehart said Rhodes also possessed photographs and videos of a child involved in sexually explicit conduct.

Rhodes was sentenced to 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction. He must abide by a suspended sentence agreement for seven years after his release from prison.

He will be required to register as a sex offender.

Tracy M. Neal can be reached by email at tneal@nwaonline.com or Twitter @NWATracy.

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