A Mayflower man facing child porn and conspiring to commit rape charges has asked a Faulkner County judge to lower his bond.
Mitchell Elliott, 35, is currently being held in the county jail on a $250,000 bond. He faces 10 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting child sex and one count each of conspiring to commit rape and possession of a controlled substance.
Defense attorney Lynn Plemmons on Thursday filed a motion on Elliott’s behalf asking either for a bond reduction or that Elliott be released on his own recognizance.
"Money bail, in any amount, should be used only as a last resort to ensure the court appearance of the Defendant," the motion states. "The Court should order the Defendant released on his own recognizance, with such reasonable conditions as would satisfy a reasonable tribunal that Defendant will appear in Court to answer the charges against him."
Plemmons argued Elliott’s bond was excessive and unconstitutional, noting Elliott was not a flight risk because he has a wife and children living in Mayflower.
Plemmons requested a bond reduction if the judge decides Elliott should continue to be held on a cash bond instead of being released on his own recognizance.
"If, after inquiry, the Court determines that money bail is the only condition that will ensure Defendant’s appearance in Court, the Court should set a reasonable, non-excessive bail which will not violate Defendant’s rights under the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Arkansas."
Investigators initially began chatting with Elliott on Oct. 7 after finding an online ad seeking "young girls" in the Conway area, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Elliott sent photos "showing his face, body, and his" gentials to the undercover investigator posing as a woman with a 12-year-old daughter, according to the affidavit.
"Communications continued and the suspect made arrangements to travel to the residence of the undercover identity for sexual contact. … A time was set for this meeting but the meeting never took place as the suspect had an unknown conflict," the affidavit stated.
According to the affidavit, Elliott asked several times for "partially nude" photos of the 12-year-old girl.
Communication died off around Oct. 26.
Investigators reached out to Elliott on Nov. 14 and communication restarted.
According to the affidavit, Elliott expressed interest in having sexual contact with the investigator’s fake identity.
"I’m not going to say yes or no. But what happens at your house stays at your house," the affidavit says Elliott responded, referring to having sex with the woman, her 12-year-old daughter and her daughter’s 13-year-old friend.
The undercover investigator told Elliott to bring condoms and set up a meeting location near Vilonia.
Elliott was met by FCSO investigators when he got to the meeting spot Dec. 7. According to the affidavit, he had a cell phone, a small amount of suspected marijuana, a glass smoking device, condoms and a small amount of suspected meth when FCSO confronted him.
"The suspect stated that he purchased the condoms and an erectile dysfunction pill at a local adult store on his way to this location," the affidavit states. "The suspect stated he had already taken the erectile dysfunction pill."
According to the affidavit, Elliott "denied that he would have engaged in any sexual contact with the minors."
Elliott’s next court date is Jan. 30.
(Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)