BENTONVILLE -- A registered sex offender was being held on a $500,000 cash only bond after his arrest in connection with distributing sexually explicit photographs of a 9-year-old girl.
James Bickerstaff, 37, of Siloam Springs was arrested Aug. 24 in connection with three counts of distributing, possessing or viewing sexually explicit conduct involving a child, three counts of engaging children in sexually explicit conduct for use in visual or print medium and sexually grooming a child.
Prosecutors have not filed any formal charges against him.
Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green ordered Bickerstaff be held on a $500,000 cash only bond.
The arrest resulted from an investigation started by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Bickerstaff admitted to taking sexually explicit photographs of a 9-year-old girl and disseminating the images over the internet to a group of people on the Kik app, according to the affidavit. He said he took the photographs with his cellphone and instructed the girl how to pose, according to the affidavit.
Bickerstaff said he told someone online he had sexually abused the girl, but claimed it wasn't true and he was only bragging, according to the affidavit.
Authorities seized several electronic devices from Bickerstaff's residence, according to the affidavit.
Members of of the Northwest Arkansas component of the FBI's River Valley Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force conducted the search of Bickerstaff's home, according to the affidavit.
The girl was interviewed at the Children's Advocacy Center of Benton County. She denied ever being sexually abused by anyone, but did report Bickerstaff had shown her pornography, according to the affidavit.
Bickerstaff is a registered sex offender with a previous conviction of possession of child pornography, according to the affidavit.
His arraignment is scheduled for 8 a.m. Oct. 4 in Green's court.