Ex-cheerleading coach Matthew Tinkle of Heber Springs was indicted this week on federal child pornography charges. Official information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office had not been received by the time of this publication, but from what The Sun-Times was able to learn, Tinkle was indicted by a grand jury on at least 3 counts of sending and receiving child pornography. Once additional information is received on the indictments, The Sun-Times will publish a follow up story as an update.
Tinkle was originally arrested on January 3, 2013 for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl. In the original allegation, the alleged victim claims that she and Tinkle had a history of texting back and forth and there was flirting on both sides. She also alleges that Tinkle asked her to have sex with him during these text exchanges. She stated that she did not have to pay to attend Tinkle's business, Tink's Tumblers, and that he had mentioned he would help her obtain a scholarship. The original allegation also claims that about a month prior to Tinkle’s arrest, he attempted to have sex with the girl.
Although the jury trial would have been scheduled for this month, Prosecuting Attorney Holly Meyer asked for a postponement in anticipation of possible federal indictments, which came this week.
Tinkle’s jury trial for the rape charge has been set for October 23-25 here in Cleburne County. We have received no information yet on possible dates for a trial on the federal indictments.