ETX youth leader faces child porn charges

Crime

CASS COUNTY, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – A retired teacher and youth leader at a Cass County, Texas church faces 15 felony offenses related to child pornography.

The Cass County District Attorney’s Office said Robert Dale Barkman, 66, of Atlanta, Texas, was indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday. He faces five counts of promotion of child porn, three counts of attempted promotion of child porn, and five counts of possession of child porn and two counts of tampering with evidence.

Robert Dale Barkman, 66, of Atlanta, Texas, was indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday on five counts of promotion of child porn, three counts of attempted promotion of child porn, and five counts of possession of child porn and two counts of tampering with evidence. (Photo: Cass County District Attorney’s Office)

Prosecutors said the investigation began in early June when suspicious images were located on his work computer at a local church where he served as the youth leader and secretary.

According to the release, the images were inappropriate images of members of his youth group and 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. Officials said they were created by Barkman.

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, according to the release. Upon forensic examination by the District Attorney’s Cyber Crime Lab, hundreds more images of child pornography were located, according to officials. 

Investigators said it appeared that Barkman had been creating and holding child pornography since the early 2000’s. Officials added that they believe Barkman deleted images and disposed of recording devices prior to Investigators running the search warrant, while knowing that the investigation was ongoing. 

According to the release, Barkman is a longtime resident of Cass County and is a retired teacher who taught at the Atlanta Middle School from 1977 through 2005. 

Barkman’s bail is set at just over $1 million. Special conditions of his bond include wearing a GPS leg monitor, no contact with any children under 18 years of age, and being restricted to Cass and Bowie Counties in Texas. 

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