Terlingua man sentenced to prison for running a child obscenity website

MIDLAND A federal judge on Tuesday reportedly sentenced 65-year-old Thomas Alan Arthur to 40 years in federal prison for operating a website dedicated to publishing writings that detailed the sexual abuse of children.

A press release from the Department of Justice detailed a jury convicted Arthur on Jan. 21 of 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.

According to trial evidence, Arthur reportedly began operating the Mr. Double website in 1996, and began charging members for access to the site in 1998. The website was dedicated to publishing writings that detail the sexual abuse of children, including the rape, torture and murder of infants and toddlers. The evidence at trial showed that all submissions for publication were reviewed and approved by Arthur before he posted them on the site.

Some of the author pages contained drawings depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, the press release stated. Evidence at trial showed that the website was Arthur’s sole source of income for more than 20 years. The site was taken offline in November 2019 when the FBI executed a search warrant at his residence near Terlingua, where Arthur administered the site. Pursuant to our Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the Netherlands, additional evidence was obtained from the server in the Netherlands where the site was hosted.

According to court documents and statements made at the sentencing, Arthur reportedly sexually assaulted two females who came forward during the investigation of this case. Court documents and statements made in court showed that in approximately 1992, Arthur drugged an adult woman living with him, sexually assaulted her and video recorded it. In another instance, in the early 1980s, Arthur molested a girl when she was four or five years old, who was the daughter of a friend and business associate.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge David Counts ordered that Arthur pay a $50,000 fine and be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term, the press release stated. Counts also granted the criminal forfeiture to the government of Arthur’s residential property, cash proceeds, the Mr. Double website and numerous electronics he used to carry out his scheme.

The FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Department of Public Safety and Brewster County Sheriff’s Office reportedly investigated the case. Trial Attorney Austin M. Berry of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Monica Morrison and Assistant U.S. Attorney Fidel Esparza prosecuted the case with assistance from the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.