In last Friday's edition of The Sun-Times, we reported ex-cheerleading coach Matt Tinkle of Heber Springs had been indicted by a federal grand jury on child pornography charges. As of that publication we were still waiting for information on the indictments. We have since received information from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas and have confirmed that Tinkle was indicted by the grand jury on three counts of child pornography.
The first and second counts charge that Tinkle, "did knowingly receive any visual depiction that had been mailed and shipped and transported in and affecting interstate commerce, and which contained materials which had been so mailed and shipped and transported by any means, including computer, the production of which involved the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and which depiction was of such conduct." According to the official indictment, the first count took place on our about November 26, 2012 and the second count took place on or about December 10, 2012.
The third count charges that Tinkle "did knowingly possess or knowingly access with intent to view, on or more matters which contained an image of a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct that had been mailed, shipped, and transported in interstate and foreign commerce, and which were produced using materials that had been mailed, shipped, and transported in interstate and foreign commerce, by any means including computer, the production of which involved the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and which visual depiction was of such conduct." This charge is alleged to have occurred on or about January 3, 2013.
While more details of the indictment have not been received from the U.S. Attorney's Office, one source close to the case told us that at least some of the images for which Tinkle was charged did include local girls. That information has not, as of yet, been confirmed by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Tinkle has been in the Cleburne County Detention Center since his arrest at the beginning of the year awaiting trial on the initial charges of rape against a 13-year-old girl. The trial was scheduled to start this month, but, anticipating the possible federal indictments, a request was approved to have the trial date pushed back to October 23.