The former communications director for the Arkansas Democrat Party was arrested and charged with several crimes related to possessing and distributing child pornography in late November.
“A federal investigation into certain online child exploitation chatrooms has resulted in the arrest of Harold “HL” Moody, Jr.,” said a Justice Department press release. “According to the complaint affidavit, on August 29, 2018, Moody was present in a chatroom when child pornography was being displayed. Agents observed Moody in the chatroom, via his webcam. Moody’s face was clearly visible and the undercover agent observed what appeared to be an office setting in the background.”
“He was hired by [Pulaski County] after a year-and-a-half stint as communications director for the Democratic Party of Arkansas,” the report said. “Before that, he had been chairman of the Pulaski County Democratic Party for two years.”
According to the Justice Department statement, Moody not only viewed, but distributed child pornography.
“On September 7, 2018, Moody was again visible on camera and observed in the chatroom actually distributing child pornography,” the report said. “Among the images that Moody distributed was a video that depicted a nude, adult, male performing oral sex on two nude, pre-pubescent males.”
Two days later he was doing the same thing, according to the release.
Federal agents also found methamphetamine in Moody’s home.
Moody is currently being held without bail while he awaits a “tentatively scheduled” January trial. Due to the serious nature of the charges and length of potential punishment, he reportedly posed a flight risk.
“Distribution of child pornography carries a penalty of not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years imprisonment, not less than 5 years to life of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Possession of child pornography carries a penalty of not more than 10 years imprisonment, not less than 5 years to life of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000,” the Justice Department release said.