TEXARKANA, Texas–A man who was arrested in January for allegedly arranging to meet an undercover Texarkana police officer posing as a 16-year-old girl is now facing much more serious charges related to the alleged sexual abuse of young girls in both Texarkana, Texas, and in its sister city of Texarkana, Arkansas.
Robert Kelly Murphy, 48, was arrested Jan. 30 by the Texarkana Texas Police Department for online solicitation of a minor involving an alleged agreement to pay an investigator he thought was a minor for a sexual encounter. Since then, Texas-side investigators have charged him with possession of child pornography and sexual assault of a child involving an actual alleged minor victim.
In Miller County, Ark., Murphy has been charged with fourth-degree sexual assault, two counts of patronizing a victim of human trafficking and possessing, distributing or viewing matter depicting the sexual exploitation of children.
Murphy was released from the Bowie County jail on Feb. 1 after posting a $75,000 bond on the solicitation charge. At the time of his arrest Jan. 30, two cell phones and a laptop were seized which investigators then acquired search warrants to examine, according to a probable cause affidavit in Bowie County.
Evidence from the devices and other information led investigators to three girls, two of whom are 16 and one of whom is 13. Roberts allegedly paid the girls for sexually explicit photos and sexual contact.
Roberts was arrested in Miller County on April 2. On April 3 he posted a $150,000 bond set in the sexual assault, patronizing human trafficking victims and child pornography charges, according to Arkansas court records. On April 5, Murphy signed a waiver of extradition to Bowie County.
Bowie County jail records show Murphy was booked on sexual assault of a child and child pornography charges levied against him in Texas on April 6. Bail on those charges totals $200,000 and Murphy remains in custody.
He is scheduled to appear for a status hearing on the Arkansas-side charges April 18 in Miller County. An April 24 court date was previously set for Murphy in the online solicitation case pending in Bowie County.