Kenneth Gene Mendenhall, 39, of Altus, pleaded guilty to four counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony. Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Bill Pearson sentenced Mendenhall to 10 years in prison on each count, with sentences to be served consecutively.
Mendenhall awaits trial in Crawford County on rape and sexual assault counts. He was arrested on those charges by the Attorney General's Office following his arrest on the child pornography counts.
"I appreciate the work of our Cyber Crimes Unit and law enforcement agencies in Franklin County that brought this man to justice and prevented him from continuing to exploit our most vulnerable citizens," McDaniel said. "We will pursue the additional charges against him as we continue to work to protect our State's children and families."
Agents with the Cyber Crimes Unit began investigating Mendenhall earlier this year after suspecting that child pornography was being possessed at his residence, 2816 Jennie Road in Altus. At that time, investigators seized two laptop computers, a desktop computer and other electronic evidence. That evidence was analyzed at the Cyber Crimes Unit Forensic Lab in Little Rock.
At the time of his arrest, Mendenhall admitted to investigators that he was in possession of child pornography. The Franklin County Sheriff's Office assisted in the investigation. Following the investigation, the Attorney General's Office turned its completed case file over to the office of Fifth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney David Gibbons, which prosecuted Mendenhall.
As a condition of his plea, Mendenhall will be required to register as a sex offender.