Ex-UCA professor guilty in child-porn case
CONWAY — A former University of Central Arkansas professor pleaded guilty Monday to 13 child-pornography counts and did not contest 213 other counts.
Under terms of a negotiated agreement, Noel Campbell, 47, faces a 75-year prison term when he is sentenced Aug. 16 in Faulkner County Circuit Court. Judge Charles Clawson Jr. agreed to allow Campbell to remain free on bond until then.
The prosecution agreed to drop the remaining 84 of the 310 child-pornography counts filed against Campbell in 2015.
The exact charge — distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit-conduct involving a child — is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison on each count.
“The sentences for these things are way out of whack,” defense attorney Jeff Rosenzweig said after the hearing.
But Rosenzweig added “this was the course he [Campbell] wished to take,” considering the realities of his situation and the way jurors might have responded had he gone to trial.
Before the court session began, Campbell’s wife stood by him at the defense table and gently rubbed his back with her right hand. With her left hand, she wiped away her tears.
During questioning aimed at making sure defendants understand the plea, its consequences and other details, Campbell, wearing a T-shirt and jeans, was composed.
The 13 counts to which Campbell pleaded guilty related to images on his personal laptop. He did not contest other counts which arose from pornography on his UCA- owned computer at his former university office.
Campbell resigned from his position as an economics professor at UCA in mid-April 2015 after earlier being suspended and banned from campus as a result of his April 3, 2015, arrest.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jordan Crews said the counts the state dropped include those relating to “thumbnail” images, or preview-type pictures, that authorities do not believe Campbell opened.