Mayflower man gets 7 years in porn case

A Faulkner County man was sentenced Thursday to seven years in federal prison on one count of possession of child pornography to which he pleaded guilty earlier this year in exchange for the dismissal of two counts of production of child pornography.

Tim Milke, 54, of Mayflower, pleaded guilty in June before U.S. District Judge James M. Moody Jr. to a superseding information containing the single count as part of a plea agreement with Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristin Bryant. Milke was originally charged by indictment with two counts of production of child pornography which could have exposed him to a maximum term of 30 years in prison on each count.

In court Thursday, Bryant told Moody that she had agreed to the plea deal in order to spare the victim from having to testify.

Milke was arrested by the Little Rock Police Department on Dec. 27, 2019, court records said, after police responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the 2000 block of Rahling Road in Little Rock discovered Milke and a 17-year-old girl in the vehicle. According to court records, Milke was on top of the girl with his pants pulled down and when approached, told police the two were “just cuddling.” Under questioning, records said, the girl told police the two had just finished having sex when police pulled up and she admitted to having sent nude photos of herself to Milke, both at his request and spontaneously without being asked.

A forensic examination of the phone turned up two videos of the girl, one by herself nude and another depicting her and Milke having sex, records said.

Milke’s attorney, Chris Baker of Little Rock, said that Milke’s problems were rooted in his military service and a wound he suffered in 2005 while serving in the Iraq War when he was shot by a round from an AK-47. Baker said Milke, who went on to retire after 23 years of service, had suffered from back and neck pain in addition to a number of other chronic conditions and had been diagnosed with PTSD.

“Individuals with PTSD,” Baker said, “very often experience lapses in judgment. Mr. Milke is here to say, and you will also hear from him, that this is probably the biggest lapse of judgment he’s ever had.” Baker noted that he and Bryant had agreed upon a joint recommendation of seven years in prison.

“I’m truly sorry for whatever pain I’ve caused,” Milke said, when given the opportunity to address Moody. “I did not mean for this to happen. I was in a very dark place at the time.” Turning to the victim’s mother, who was sitting in the gallery, Milke, his voice breaking, apologized to her for his actions.

“I’m truly sorry for what happened and I ask your forgiveness,” he said, The victim’s mother — whose name is not being disclosed to protect the victim’s identity — said that Milke’s actions had had a devastating impact on her daughter and her family that had affected their mental, emotional and financial well-being.

“This has caused a deep wound that we’re trying to constantly heal from,” she said. “But I realize you’re a broken man so there’s healing all around … Everybody’s broken. Everybody’s damaged. So my prayer for all concerned is that God heal us and that we can all forgive ourselves. I just ask that you consider what you did to her.” Bryant pointed out that Milke was originally charged with production of child pornography because of images and videos that he had taken of the girl.

“Obviously,” she said, “the one time they were caught by the police wasn’t the only time. The filming incident was a separate occasion.” Bryant noted that because under Arkansas law the legal age of consent is 16-years-old, the sexual activity was not a crime but that production of pornographic images of anyone under 18 is a crime. But, she said, obtaining a conviction on the production counts was problematic because of the extent of the emotional trauma suffered by the victim.

“Just the one phone call I had with her telling her she was going to have to testify sent her into a tailspin,” Bryant said, adding, in addition to sparing the victim from having to testify at trial, she was also taking into consideration Milke’s military service and lack of criminal history.

In addition to the seven-year prison term, Moody ordered Milke to serve 10 years on supervised release after he leaves prison, to pay $5,000 assessed under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act and a $100 assessment under the Amy, Vicky and Andy Child Pornography Victims Assistance Act. Moody also allowed Milke, who has been on supervised release since his indictment, to remain free until he self-reports to his designated Bureau of Prisons facility on Jan. 2.

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