A 45-year-old Conway man has pleaded not guilty to internet stalking of a child allegations.
An undercover Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office investigator responded to an online ad Tracey Wayne Clark posted on Aug. 6. The two began chatting and from there, Clark arranged to meet the undercover investigator’s fake profile and who he thought was a 13-year-old girl the following day, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Clark, who was a manager at the Big Lots on Oak Street, is currently being held in the county jail on a $100,000 bond and faces one count of internet stalking of a minor, a Class Y felony. He pleaded not guilty to the allegations against him Monday in Faulkner County Circuit Court.stalking
Class Y felonies are punishable by 10 to 40 years or life in prison.
When questioned by authorities following his arrest, Clark admitted to having a sexual interest in underage girls but said he would not have acted on that urge Aug. 7.
“Clark admitted to traveling from his residence in Conway, AR to the Continental Inn for the purpose of having sexual intercourse with the 13 year old female,” the affidavit reads. “Clark stated that he would not have engaged in sexual intercourse with the female because his stomach was upset and he was too nervous.”
Deputies met hours before the Wednesday sting to discuss alternate routes to take while conducting surveillance of Clark in the moments leading up to his arrest. The lead investigator noted the importance of keeping surveillance of the suspect’s home, who’s property line adjoins Ida Burns Elementary School.
While chatting with the lead investigator’s undercover profile, Clark allegedly arranged to meet with who he thought was a man and a 13-year-old girl at the Continental Inn on Harkrider Street. He told the investigator he would bring poppers (a sexual enhancement), sex toys and the silk band his wife uses to tie her robe. Clark also stated he would bring $25 cash to split hotel room costs with the undercover investigator’s profile.
Investigators blocked Clark’s vehicle when he arrived at the hotel and he was immediately arrested.
FCSO confiscated a cell phone, tablet, laptop, sex toys, $25 in cash as well as the silk band that Clark noted he would bring under the impression the 13 year old was interested in “rape role play.” Police also found a “Central City Police Detective” badge, with badge No. 5936 imprinted on the bottom. Clark said the badge was a souvenir from the series “The Flash” that he liked to carry with him in his car.
Danny Rasmussen was appointed Monday as Clark’s attorney in this case.
Clark is set to appear next in Faulkner County Circuit Court at 9 a.m. Oct. 17 for a pretrial hearing.