Alleged "Candyman" Ringleader Denied Bond

A bond hearing Thursday in Tyler federal court, revealed the East Texan accused of creating the "Candyman" e-mail group has previous convictions of indecency with a child.

"Candyman" was an internet child porn service with worldwide reach.  An FBI agent uncovered 32-year old Mark Alton Bates, of Anderson County, was convicted of fondling a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old boy back in 1986.  He was then barred from Ft. Polk military base in Louisiana.

In 1988, Bates pleaded guilty to three counts of indencency with a child for fondling two six-year-olds and an eight-year-old.  He was sentenced to 7 years in prison but he only served 18-months of the sentence.

On the day he was arrested in this latest nationwide sting, Bates allegedly confessed to FBI agents that he was the creator of the "Candyman" site. A special agent in charge of the child-porn investigation, testified Bates also downloaded pornography onto his computer and a computer at his mom's nightclub.

Judge Judith Guthrie denied bond on Thursday because of the previous convictions.
Bates now head back to Houston where the indictments originated.