ROCK SPRINGS — A 26-year-old Rock Springs man could be facing up to 18 years in prison following a chance of plea on 14 counts of sexual exploitation of child between 2019 and 2021.
David Wayne Clark changed his plea to guilty on all 11 counts of child pornography possession three counts of distribution in Third District Court late last week. In exchange for the plea, the Sweetwater County Attorney’s Office agree to cap his sentence between 13-18 years for each count.
Clark was arraigned on April 1 and pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. If found guilty on all counts he could be sentenced to 146 years in the state penitentiary and $140,000 in fines. An argued sentencing will take place on a future date where the details of Clark’s sentence, whether it runs concurrently or consecutively, will be determined.
Defense attorney Nate Jepsen also told the court the state agreed not to prosecute an additional charge stemming from an investigation into the case.
When entering his change of plea Clark told Judge Suzannah Robinson that his crimes took place between December 2019 and February 2021. He said he and other people began exchanging adult pornorgraphic material through their Facebook Messenger accounts and webcam chat applications like Skype.
Clark added that some of those exchanges involved child pornography. He told the court he realized it was child pornography but saved the images and videos to his phone anyway.
The three distribution counts carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 5-12 years in prison. A sentencing date will be established after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation.