On Wednesday, the Racine Racine County Sheriff's Office Internet Crimes Against Children Unit (ICAC) arrested a 56-year-old Indiana man who reportedly drove to Racine for the purpose of a sexual liaison with whom he thought were two underage girls.
Richard A. Barney of St. John, Indiana, traveled approximately 109 miles for the rendezvous, according to a Racine County Sheriff's Office release issued Thursday. But what Barney did not realize was he was communicating on the internet with sheriff's investigators.
“Let this be a strong message to all pedophiles considering acting on their perverted thoughts, you are wearing a target," said Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling.
For the past several weeks, Barney had been communicating with an undercover Racine County Sheriff’s Office ICAC investigator posing as a mother willing to sell her daughters for sex, the release said. During this time, Barney allegedly sent pornographic photos, a picture of his face and his cell phone number to the investigator.
“Today, my team is one arrest closer of ridding our streets of these disgusting scumbags," Schmaling said. "Make no mistake, an individual driving all day from another state to have sexual contact with children is someone the Racine Sheriff’s Office ICAC task force takes great pride in arresting.”
As of Thursday morning, Barney was being held at the Racine County Jail on charges of possession of child pornography, attempted sexual assault of a child, and use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.
“This is a harsh reminder that there are pedophiles trolling the internet, day and night, with one disgusting agenda," Schmaling said. "That said, I urge all parents to monitor your child’s social media and internet interactions. Report all suspicious and questionable conversations to the authorities immediately.”