A man accused of paying a 17-year-old girl for nude photos and videos, then threatening to share them with friends when she balked at sending more sexually explicit materials, was sentenced in federal court in Little Rock on Wednesday to 25 years in prison.
Jakob Brown, 26, of Bigelow, who is a registered sex offender from a previous conviction in Faulkner County, was arrested April 23, 2020, by Conway police on charges of sexual extortion, harassing communications and possession of a controlled substance following a traffic stop on Dave Ward Drive. He was indicted in December 2020 on charges of possession and production of child pornography and extortion and pleaded guilty last June to one count of production of child pornography.
Because he had a previous conviction for similar conduct, Brown's minimum sentence on the production count was 25 years, and he could have received as much as 50 years in prison.
According to court records, an investigation into Brown's activities was opened after a Conway police detective received a report accusing Brown of sexual extortion. A probable cause affidavit said Brown met his victim -- a 17-year-old girl -- on Tinder and soon began messaging her on Snapchat, eventually offering to pay her $200 for nude photos and videos.
According to the affidavit, Brown agreed to pay the victim $200 up front and $350 after she sent him all the materials he wanted. After the victim refused to send more sexually explicit materials, Brown threatened to share the materials he already had with her friends.
Under questioning, Brown admitted to contacting the victim, telling police he was unhappy she did not fulfill the agreement and that he felt justified in demanding more photos and videos and demanding his money back, the affidavit said.
Brown's attorney, Latrece Gray with the Federal Public Defender Office in Little Rock, told U.S. District Judge Brian Miller that she and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristin Bryant had agreed on the minimum statutory sentence of 25 years.
Gray said some mitigating factors were that Brown did not personally produce the videos and photos and did not have physical contact with the victim.
"Mr Brown is not accused of having actually physically reached out and touched a child, there's no indication of trafficking, no allegation of that," she said. "There's levels to this. There's people, there are offenses that are far greater than Mr. Brown's who arguably have received lesser punishment."
"It is what it is," she added, "and we ask for the low end of the guideline."
Miller, referring to an earlier hearing in which he sentenced a defendant who admitted to raping a 6-year-old girl and infecting her with two sexually transmitted diseases, then addressed members of Brown's family who were at the hearing.
"Ms. Gray is trying to let me know to some degree without saying it more bluntly that this case is not that case," Miller said. "In that case I went above the guideline range and gave him an above-the-guideline-range sentence of life."
Turning to Gray, Miller continued.
"I understand you're trying to answer any questions I might have about whether this case in any way is similar," he said, which Gray affirmed.
Bryant also affirmed her agreement on the 25-year sentence.
"I realize that is a substantial amount of time, but the reason it's so incredibly high is because Mr. Brown already has a conviction for doing something very similar in 2019," she said. "Not even a year later he's engaged in the same kind of conduct again. I think Mr. Brown has earned every bit of this 25 years."
Bryant added that had the statutory minimum been less than 25 years, "We would probably be coming to you for something very similar to that."
"Here's what I'm going to do, I'm going to order you to the Bureau of Prisons for a term of 300 months," Miller told Brown.
"I'm not going to give him lifetime supervised release [following the prison term] but I am going to give him 20 years," he said to Bryant. "That'll get him up around 70 and I imagine at that point, if he's like most of us when we start getting older, we don't have the ability to want to look at all this stuff."