Retired teacher, church youth leader, pleads guilty to child pornography crimes

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A retired middle school teacher found with hundreds of images of child pornography on a computer in the church where he served as youth leader and secretary was sentenced to 30 years in prison Monday.

Robert Dale Barkman, 66, pleaded guilty to possession of child porn and two counts of promotion of child pornography. He was sentenced to three 10-year terms which he will serve consecutively, according to Cass County District Attorney Courtney Shelton.

The investigation, which was led by the Cass County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, began early in June when suspicious images were located on Barkman’s work computer at a local church. The photos included inappropriate images of members of his youth group.

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The computer was taken to the Cass County Criminal District Attorney’s Office Cyber Crime Lab for processing which yielded hundreds of images of child pornography which Barkman had created himself. The discovery of these images resulted in a search warrant being issued for Barkman’s home where additional computers and electronic devices were recovered by police. The search warrant was executed by the District Attorney’s Office with assistance from the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division, and the Atlanta Police Department.

Upon forensic examination by the District Attorney’s Cyber Crime Lab, hundreds more images of child pornography were located. According to investigators, it appeared that Barkman had been creating and holding child pornography since the early 2000’s. Barkman is believed to have deleted images and disposed of recording devices prior to investigators executing the search warrant.

Barkman is a long term resident of Cass County who taught at the Atlanta Middle School from 1977 through 2005.

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