Alleged child predator charged

Published 5:54 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2019

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

A Norfolk man was arrested Friday for allegedly using electronic devices to obtain sex from who he believed was a 14-year-old girl — to the point of driving to where he thought she lived in Carrollton, according to Lt. Tommy Potter with the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office. 

The arrest was part of the Sheriff’s Office’s work with the Southern Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the 14-year-old was actually an undercover officer. 

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Emmett Lewis Barnard III, of the 7500 block of Yorktown Drive, was charged with two counts of using a communication system to expose adult genitals to a minor; one count of using a communication system to request the minor to expose genitals and three counts of using the system to request a sex act with a minor, according to the Sheriff’s Office. 

Barnard is also an IT specialist with the Virginia Beach Public Schools. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

While there is no reason to believe the accused has acted inappropriately with children in Virginia Beach, the city will be notified if that changes during the investigation, said Potter. 

Isle of Wight was involved in the sting because the intended “victim” was thought to live in the county, said Potter. 

The investigation began with deputies routinely monitoring social media platforms, such as chat rooms and marketplaces, looking for people attempting to prey on children, said Potter. 

To uncover such individuals, investigators will make innocent posts about music videos and other items that juveniles are interested in, said Potter. 

In this case, several individuals responded to the post, but one was persistent in conversing with who he believed was a 14-year-old girl, said Potter. 

The conversations took place over nine days, a number of emails, as well as countless hours of dialogue and text messages, said Potter. 

The accused sent a photo and a video of an obscene nature to the undercover investigator who was posing as the 14-year-old girl. The accused asked the “girl” for photos of herself, as well as requested sexual acts, according to court documents.

The accused also drove to Carrollton to where he thought she lived on two occasions. A store surveillance camera caught the accused on video walking around with a box of condoms, according to court documents. 

What causes additional concern is that the accused was willing to travel from Norfolk to Carrollton twice, said Potter. 

“The Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office will not just investigate these types of cases, but will aggressively investigate these cases and pursue those predators who prey on the most vulnerable segment of our society, our children,” said Potter. 

On the other hand, “unfortunately, there are young people who will succumb to this mental persuasion and engage in these activities,” said Potter. 

Barnard is being held without bond in Western Tidewater Regional Jail.  {/mprestriction}