Gym coach pleads guilty to porn charge - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Gym coach pleads guilty to porn charge

Matthew Tinkle (Source: Pulaski County Jail) Matthew Tinkle (Source: Pulaski County Jail)
LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) – A former Region 8 gymnastics coach pleaded guilty Thursday to receiving child pornography.

Matthew Tinkle, 27, of Heber Springs was charged with two counts of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, according to Christopher Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

In exchange for his guilty plea on the first count of receiving child pornography, the U.S. “dismissed the remaining counts in the indictment,” Thyer’s office stated.

Tinkle faces anywhere from 5 to 20 years in prison, 5 years to life supervised release, and as much as a $250,000 fine.

The plea agreement also included enhancements for use of a computer, abuse of a position of trust, and engaging in a pattern of activity involving the sexual abuse or exploitation of a minor.

Tinkle will be required to register as a sex offender.

According to the indictment, Tinkle molested a 13-year-old girl on at least two occasions.

At the time of his arrest, Tinkle was the owner of Tink’s Tumblers, a gymnastics studio in Heber Springs.

The girl reportedly told investigators she and other children would “hang out” with Tinkle at the gym and he would often give them rides to and from home.

The girl told investigators she sent text messages including nude photographs of herself to Tinkle. She also said Tinkle sent her photographs of himself nude, court records stated.

On February 27, 2014, Tinkle pleaded no contest to rape in Cleburne County Circuit Court. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The Heber Springs Police Department, Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division, and the Little Rock Office of Homeland Security investigated the allegations.

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