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Press Release

Tulsa Child Predator Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

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

A 71-year-old Tulsa man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court for convincing an adolescent to send him sexually explicit pictures using a cell phone, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan sentenced James Wesley Barnes to 15 years in prison for possession of child pornography. Following completion of his prison term, Barnes will serve seven years on supervised release during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children.

“James Barnes’ perverse and deviant crimes are deserving of every day of his 15-year prison sentence. The physical, mental and emotional harm inflicted on this young victim may have lifetime repercussions,” said U.S. Attorney Shores. “It is inspiring to see that, in the face of fear and uncertainty, this child victim spoke out about the abuses perpetrated against her. Because of one child’s courage and resiliency, this vile predator is going to federal prison for a long time.”

At his plea hearing on Jan. 30, 2019, Barnes admitted that from March to June 2018, he possessed sexually explicit pictures of an eleven-year-old girl that she sent at his request.  According to court documents, Barnes was previously convicted in Tulsa County District Court for second-degree rape of a minor under 16 years of age.

Barnes remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service until transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prison’s facility.

The Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Cozzoni prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit


Lennea Montandon

Updated May 1, 2019

Project Safe Childhood