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Arkansas Couple Runs Sex Ring

ROGERS, Arkansas – A man and woman arrested Wednesday for child pornography are now facing new charges for running a sex ring with various relatives and minors, according to an affidavit of probable cause released Friday by the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office.

Joe Billy Canoy, 41, and Shawna Lee Anne Canoy, 32, a husband and wife who live at 2310 W. Beech St., were released from the Benton County Jail on Friday after posting bail of $75,000 each.

According to the report by Rogers Detective Shawn Holloway, police began their investigation Wednesday after an employee of a pest control company told authorities he had recently visited the couple’s home and had seen evidence of drug use and sexual activity with minors.

The employee contacted police Wednesday and told them he and his wife had gone to dinner with the Canoys on Dec. 2 and had been invited back to their house afterward.

While at the house, the witness stated Joe Canoy showed him a large amount of marijuana and invited him to try some. Canoy gave him a tour of the house, where the witness saw a number of sexually explicit photographs involving Shawna Canoy and other partners.

Canoy then allegedly asked the witness if he would be interested in swinging, or swapping sexual partners. The man declined, but Canoy continued the tour, and the witness said he saw a number of photos depicting the Canoys involved in sexual acts with minors.

Police obtained a search warrant Wednesday and raided the house at 6:38 p.m., just hours after the witness tipped them off. Evidence obtained included framed photographs of girls as young as 12 involved in sexual activity with the Canoys; digital photos of 5- to 10-year-old children engaged in sexual acts; photos of children ranging from infants to teenagers engaged in sexual acts; and videos depicting sexual acts between the Canoys with another family member watching.

Detectives followed up on interviews with the Canoys and tracked down at least one girl depicted in multiple photos. The girl, a seventh-grader, said the couple let her drink tequila, then pressured her to take photographs of them while they engaged in sexual activity.

Joe Canoy is charged with engaging children in sexually explicit conduct for use in visual or print medium, a class B felony; pandering or possessing visual or print medium depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a class C felony; computer exploitation of a child, a class B felony; and second-degree sexual assault, a class B felony.

Shawna Canoy is charged with incest, a class C felony; engaging children in sexually explicit conduct for use in visual or print medium, a class B felony; pandering or possessing visual or print medium depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a class C felony; computer exploitation of a child, a class B felony; and second-degree sexual assault, a class B felony.

A court date for the two has been set for Jan. 23.

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