A 45-year-old Conway man arrested earlier this week after authorities suspected he was planning to rape who he thought was a 13-year-old girl is now being held on a $100,000 bond.
An undercover investigator with the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office responded to an online ad Tracey Wayne Clark posted on Aug. 6. The two chatted over email before switching over to text messaging. According to a probable cause affidavit, Clark arranged to meet the undercover investigator’s fake profile and who he thought was a 13-year-old girl at 11 a.m. at the Continental Inn on Harkrider Street on Wednesday.
Clark, who is manager at the Big Lots on Oak Street, was being held without bond in the county jail following the incident until a district judge set a $100,000 bond in his case on Friday.
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 Wednesday.
“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.”
Prior to his arrest, Clark allegedly told the lead investigator he raped his daughters — who have since grown older and moved out of his home — when they were younger.
“During the communications, Clark discussed having sexual intercourse with his daughters prior to them moving out of the home,” the affidavit reads. “Clark stated that this began when his daughters were 12 years old.”
Sheriff Tim Ryals said the sheriff’s office will interview family members regarding Clark’s statement and that subsequent charges may be filed against him.
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.
The lead investigator spoke with deputies prior to the stake out to give them background and other information relating to the case.
The lead investigator remained in contact with Clark via text throughout the investigation and into the moments leading up to his arrest.
During a Tuesday conversation with the undercover investigator, Clark arranged to meet who he thought was a man and a 13-year-old girl at a Conway hotel. He told the investigator he would bring poppers (a liquid inhaled to relax throat and anal muscles), sex toys and the silk band his wife uses to tie her robe. Clark also said he would bring $25 cash to split hotel room costs with the undercover investigator’s fake profile.
Five undercover units were quick to block Clark’s tan Hyundai Elantra in the hotel’s parking lot when he arrived on scene.
Clark was immediately arrested and deputies inventoried his vehicle.
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.
According to the affidavit, Clark told the undercover investigator’s fake profile he would bring a laptop so that he could watch pornography with the underage girl.
Clark, who faces an internet stalking of a child charge, is set to appear in Faulkner County Circuit Court for a plea and arraignment hearing at 9 a.m. Aug. 28.
His arrest marks the 22nd sex sting FCSO has conducted in 2017.