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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 22, 2016

Dickinson Man Gets Significant Sentence for Distributing Child Pornography Via Social Media

GALVESTON, Texas – A 51-year-old resident of Dickinson has been ordered to prison for nearly 20 years following his conviction of distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Richard Wayne Barton pleaded guilty Feb. 8, 2016.

Today, U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. took into consideration the fact that Barton created and administered a social media website where child pornography was made available, including images containing bondage, bestiality and children under the age of 12 engaged in sex acts. Barton received a sentence of 235 months in federal prison and was ordered to pay restitution to known victims. He was further ordered to serve 10 years of supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the Internet. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender. 

The investigation revealed Barton was making child pornography available to others through the website he created and administered. Law enforcement executed a search warrant Feb. 19, 2015, at which time agents seized computer media including external hard drives which led to the discovery of more than 16,500 digital images and approximately 1,100 videos containing minors engaged in sexual activity.

A grand jury indicted Barton Sept. 17, 2015. He later appeared for a detention hearing and was found to be a danger to the community and ordered into custody. He has been and will remain there pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

This case was initiated based on a cyber-tip from a web domain hosting company. Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation.       

This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sherri L. Zack, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated July 22, 2016