Breaking News
More () »

Terlingua man sentenced to 40 years in prison over website featuring stories of child sexual abuse

Arthur's website, which was shut down in 2019, was charging people for access for over 20 years.

MIDLAND, Texas — A Terlingua man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after he was convicted for running a website featuring stories of child sexual abuse.

Thomas Arthur was arrested in November 2019 after the FBI connected him to they website they said he was running since 1996.

Judge David Counts also ordered he pay a $50,000 fine and be placed on a supervised release period for three years following his prison term.

A federal jury convicted Arthur in January 2021 on three counts of trafficking in obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of a child, five counts of trafficking in obscene text stories about the sexual abuse of children, and one count of engaging in the business of selling obscene matters involving the sexual abuse of children. 

The site, which was run out of the Netherlands, was reportedly Arthur's sole source of income for over 20 years. It was shut down following his arrest in 2019.

Court documents also showed Arthur had sexually assaulted two females, one of whom was four or five years old at the time. These two had come forward during the FBI investigation.

Jdge Counts also granted the criminal forfeiture of Arthur's property including his residence, cash proceeds and electronics. The government had moved to seize the property in 2020.

“The despicable, exploitative behavior of the defendant in this case is nothing short of shocking. The 40-year sentence imposed by the court reflects the extremely serious nature of the criminal conduct,” said U.S. Attorney Hoff.