Little Rock, AR

FBI: child porn cases on the rise in Arkansas; latest case involves a police officer

Wess Haubrich

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Unfortunately, 2021 has already been a banner year for the Little Rock FBI Task Force investigating crimes against children.

Sexual crimes against children are unfortunately on the rise in 2021 in Arkansas, according to an FBI task force handling the problem.

The latest child porn case in the Little Rock area involves a UAMS police officer who was arrested on Friday. Gregory Ray McKinney, aged 54, is charged with two counts of possession of child pornography, with other charges pending further investigation by FBI agents on the ground.

McKinney worked for UAMS Hospital for four years. He has been put on administrative leave pending the investigation’s findings. McKinney’s court date is August 6; he is currently being held on no bond.

Getting into a more macro view of the problem, in 2019 there were 31 opened cases. In 2020, that number more than tripled to an astonishing 105.

We’re barely halfway into 2021 and already 53 cases have been opened. Supervisory special agent Tonja Sablatura told KATV, "In 2021, we're set to exceed the 100 case mark already."

Of course, the internet’s ubiquity is partly blame for these unsettling numbers. This also very much includes the expansion of broadband and other lightning-fast dial-up alternatives to previously underserved rural areas.

There’s a few ways concerned parents can arm themselves in the fight against online predators. The first line of defense involves installing programs that allow you to regulate your child’s internet usage (find a list of free ones here).

But what is perhaps most important, as Sablatura says, have a talk. "The more that children are educated, more parents are educated, the more prevention that we'll see."

Finally, if you believe your child was a victim, contact the Little Rock FBI Field Office at 501-221-9100.

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Former editor, now dogged-maverick journalist and researcher covering the crime beat. I examine the weird, absurd, and downright infamous in American crime both here and at Real Monsters podcast. Contact: wess@realmonsters.live

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