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Press Release

Suburban Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges for Allegedly Enticing Underage Girls to Produce Sexually Explicit Images

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — Federal authorities today arrested a west suburban man for allegedly enticing underage girls to produce sexually explicit images of themselves.

Using the screen name “davidbanks1014,” RICHARD BARNETT chatted with at least four underage girls on the social network and enticed them to produce pornographic images of themselves and send them to him, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in federal court in Chicago.  Barnett threatened at least one of the victims with physical harm, including threatening to shoot her, if she did not comply with his demands to send the sexually explicit images, the complaint states.

Barnett, 39, of Aurora, was arrested this morning.  During a court-authorized search of his residence, agents seized multiple electronic devices and several firearms.

The complaint charges Barnett with one count of producing child pornography and one count of transporting child pornography.  A detention hearing is set for Oct. 18, 2017, at 3:00 p.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez in Chicago.

The complaint was announced by Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and John P. Selleck, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Valuable assistance in the investigation was provided by the New Orleans office of the FBI, the Buffalo office of the FBI, the Jacksonville (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office, and the Ouachita Parish (La.) Sheriff’s Office.

According to the complaint, some of the underage victims reported to police that earlier this year they received sexually explicit messages on from an individual with the username davidbanks1014.  Some of the victims reported that davidbanks1014 claimed to be 13 years old when he corresponded with them, the complaint states.

The investigation revealed that the account for davidbanks1014 was created on April 22, 2017, using Barnett’s cellular telephone number, the complaint states.

The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

If convicted on the count of producing child pornography, Barnett faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a maximum potential sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment.  If convicted on the count of transporting child pornography, Barnett faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment and a maximum potential sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Chapman.

If you believe you are a victim of sexual exploitation, you are encouraged to call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.  The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Updated October 16, 2017

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