A Locksburg, Ark., man who enticed a Texarkana teen he met on the Internet in 2014 pleaded guilty Thursday to two felonies in federal court.
Nathan Karl Thomas, 23, was charged last year in a nine-count indictment with crimes including possession of child pornography, receipt of child pornography, and bringing a minor across state lines for sex. At a plea hearing Thursday before U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ross said he expects the government to dismiss Thomas’ indictment at sentencing in a few months.
Thomas pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony information charging him with two counts of receipt of child pornography. One count involved Thomas’ conduct with a 15-year-old girl from Texarkana, Texas, he met on the Internet. Thomas coerced the girl into sex and into sending him sexually graphic photos of herself via the web-based application Kik Messenger in October 2014, Ross said.
A second count charges Thomas with receipt of child pornography involving a 2-year-old boy. Ross told the court Thomas had a friend send him a video of herself removing the young boy’s diaper moment before performing oral sex on him. Haidy Branson was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison last August for her sexual misconduct with a 2-year-old male relative in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas. Branson’s crime occurred in Bowie County, Texas.
Ross said Thomas’ plea agreement includes his forfeiture of two cell phones and a computer hard drive on which more than 600 offensive images of children were discovered.
Thomas must register as a sex offender upon his release from federal prison. He faces five to 20 years behind the walls of a federal prison on each of the two counts in the newly filed information. Thomas will return to court for sentencing once a pre-sentence investigation and a report detailing its findings is completed by federal authorities. The report will include information about Thomas, including his personal, educational, and criminal histories, meant to aid Hickey in assessing Thomas’ punishment under federal guidelines.
Until then, Thomas remains in the custody of federal marshals.