Malvern man arrested on 45 counts of child pornography
A Malvern man was arrested Friday on 45 felony counts involving child pornography after an investigation by Hot Springs police into images allegedly found on his business phone earlier this year.
Kenneth Roy Coates, 48, was taken into custody at his residence at
11:30 a.m. Friday and charged with
45 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Coates was later released on $25,000 bond and is set to appear Sept. 5 in Garland
County District Court.
According to the affidavit, on March 1, Cpl. LeeAnn Zaner spoke to Coates’ employer in Hot Springs who stated he had provided Coates with a business cellphone after employing him, but Coates had been terminated and he needed Zaner’s assistance in getting Coates to return the phone to him.
Upon request, Coates gave the phone to Zaner and allegedly asked her to “wipe” the phone clean before returning it to his employer. Zaner notes after she got the phone she saw an image on it of a young female, approximately 7 to 10 years old, who was nude with her privates visible.
She informed Coates’ former employer of the image she saw and he agreed to allow Zaner to seize the phone as evidence.
On June 8, Detective Kenny May obtained a search warrant for the seized phone and submitted it to the state crime lab in Little Rock so they could extract the data contained in the phone. On July 24, May received a disk of the extracted data.
On Aug. 9, May reviewed the data and reportedly observed a total of 45 images of nude juveniles. He noted the juveniles were all “clearly under the age of 17” and the images depicted “lewd exhibition” of the privates and breasts of the female juveniles.
After further documentation and investigation of the evidence, a warrant for Coates’ arrest was issued.