Curtis Leo Barber was arrested in West Palm Beach, Florida for possession of child pornography. According to news reports, Curtis Barber worked as a traffic control employee for Palm Beach County. It is unknown if he is represented by a criminal defense lawyer at the present time. As a result of his arrest, he is facing two counts of transmission of child pornography and three counts of computer pornography and child exploitation.
At the present time, Curtis Barber is being held on a $6,000.00 bail bond.
According to a press release by the State Attorney’s Office, Barber used a social networking site to transmit sexually explicit messages and photographs to an undercover officer allegedly posing as a 15 year old boy.
Strangely, the two also communicated using web camera sessions over the internet. This may sound like a statement of the obvious, but how did the undercover officer keep up the ruse of being a 15 year old boy if he is an adult?
The press release also mentioned that Curtis Barber engaged in these acts at his county office and using a government issued internet account.
This type of possession of child pornography case is extremely common. Based on my experience as a criminal defense attorney, I would bet that Curtis Barber and the undercover officer met each other in an internet chat room.
From there, I am sure lewd chats were exchanged and the undercover offices advised Barber that he was an underage child. In cases like these, investigators will typically advise the alleged offender that they are an underage child at the beginning of any communications.
From there they let the offender take the lead. For sex offenders, the chat will always turn sexual and may expand to the point where lewd images are exchanged and virtual sex acts are committed.
Unfortunately for the offender, everything is on the record.
On the other hand, Curtis Barber and the undercover officer may have met through an online file sharing service. In this scenario type, an offender is caught transmitting child pornography over the internet from his/her account.
File sharing services are similar to other social media outlets in that members all create a unique user name and profile. Once created, users can upload, download, and share music, movies, and pictures.
Once downloaded by investigators, a case is generated for possession of child pornography and transmission of child pornography.
As I mentioned before, my instinct as a criminal defense lawyer tells me that Curtis Barber and the undercover officer met in a chat room and things progressed from there.
However, that does not mean that the relationship did not begin when an undercover officer discovered Barber sharing child pornography on a file sharing network. In this reverse type of situation, emails and chats may be exchanged after the successful sharing of child pornography is achieved.
Whatever the case may be, Barber is facing an extremely serious situation. These charges carry the potential of serious prison time, not to mention a lifetime of being branded a sex offender.
But there is hope for Curtis Barber.
A criminal defense attorney can review his case and analyze it in a way only a lawyer could. Defenses to these crimes may come from controlling law, such as a person’s right to privacy and protection from illegal search and seizure, as well as the ultimate facts of the case.
Just because Barber was arrested and the accusations are ugly, does not mean he is guilty of any crime.
Barber’s criminal defense lawyer will need to review every detail of his case as well as all of the controlling law. By doing so, any available defenses will be uncovered.
This may include grounds for a motion to suppress evidence, a motion to dismiss the charges, or a factual defense for use at trial.
Before any concrete conclusions can be drawn about this case, a thorough analysis is required, including the taking of depositions. Once competed, a fair assessment can be made.