Area man facing child pornography charges

Jerry Pitchford / Sebastian County Sheriff's Office photo
Amanda Corbin
News Reporter

A Fort Smith, Ark., man with connections to LeFlore County is facing child pornography charges in Arkansas.

Jerry Wayne Pitchford, 49, was arrested after being interviewed by Sebastian County Sheriff's Department and Homeland Security investigators on Feb. 8. His charges include two counts of computer child pornography. His address is listed as Fort Smith. Pitchford was formerly involved in several Poteau High School sports booster clubs.

The sheriff's department said they interviewed Pitchford based on information received in a separate case. The office has requested for his electronic devices to be forensically examined. The investigation is ongoing, with additional charges possible.

Reports received from the sheriff's department show Pitchford is alleged to have been involved in the exchange of child sexual abuse material with a Kelly Riley through the instant messaging application Kik. Investigators allege the pair exchanged messages regarding the molestation of children and exchange of child pornography. Riley was arrested in January on similar charges.

The report said Pitchford at first told investigators "it made him sick" to see images linked to him through a Dropbox link from Riley, then later allegedly admitted to asking Riley to resend him the link. Dropbox is an online file hosting service.

Investigators said images sent by Riley included abuse on an infant and toddler. Pitchford is then alleged to have sent Riley a picture of a female child he knew and "that he would like to set Ms. Riley up with her." Authorities said he admitted to speaking with others through the application about "having sex" with the child.

He told investigators "it was all a fantasy to him, and that talking to people like this relaxed him," investigators said.

Pitchford is a former owner of Healthmax Centers in Poteau and Fort Smith but the locations have since been sold.