• Conviction - b080387 - Northfield, Minnesota

    - Chatlog Conviction -
    File originally posted on 5/6/2004 5:07 PM PST [Link to File]
    Report made 9/28/2004 8:55 PM PST

    Okay, this one is for all of you out there that think people can't be convicted based off a chat-log. Ready?

    Earlier story: Shawn Barnett charged with solicitation.

    New story: Barnett pleads guilty, information on sentencing.

    Shawn Barnett, aka B080387, plead guilty today to one count of sexual enticement of a minor. He was taken into custody in the Dakota County Courthouse in Hastings, Minnesota, for a 29-day incarceration. This jail stay will be followed by 29 days of house arrest. Shawn will be sentenced on November 29th, 2004. He will be kept in captivity until that time.

    Here are a few words from the phone verifier of this chat-log, Red Baroness, speaking for herself and her husband, Beef the Troll.

    Red Baroness: On a personal note, Shawn Barnett's chat was vile. He was a prime example of the predators that can be found in any chatroom across the country. KSTP in Minneapolis, MN did a news story on Perverted Justice, and the epidemic of internet solicitation of minors. They were truly shocked by the staggering amounts of people looking to chat sexually with kids.

    Shawn was bad enough on his own. He was explicit to a very serious degree. However, when he sent a picture of himself, his beautiful wife, and their toddler in front of their Christmas tree, there was an audible gasp in the room

    Barnett had it all. A gorgeous family. A solid job as a Federal Air Traffic Controller. Things were going well. But Shawn made a grevious error. He decided that it would be a swell idea to try and hook up for sex with a 13 year-old while his wife was away on business

    KSTP filmed the chat. They also filmed the verification. KSTP then turned over everything they found to the authorities. It turns out that Shawn was soliciting FROM WORK. So...what does that mean? Shawn was on Federal time...on Federal land...committing a crime. Shawn was arrested almost immediately. The Federal Department of Transportation was VERY anxious to talk to us. Obviously, they believed that this case was strong.

    Today, Shawn plead guilty because of the overwhelming amount of evidence against him. Shawn Barnett is the first Perverted Justice \"bust\" that was found guilty of a crime based SOLELY on the chatlog and verification that Perverted Justice did. And, for this, we could not be more proud. This is a great precedent, and it should be an ever stronger deterrent for those who would victimize children.

    Perverted Justice DOES work with Law Enforcement. And Law Enforcement has now used ONLY our evidence collected to put away a predator.

    That's right, the only evidence against Shawn Barnett was the chat-log and a tape of the verification call. Nothing else. He did not turn himself in, he lied and denied the chat until this point, he hired counsel... and in the end? Our work and evidence was too overpowering for Barnett to continue to try to fight. Giving up was the only solution available to try to win pity and sympathy for a reduced sentence. This isn't a plea bargain, it's a guilty plea. Entered due to the overwhelming truth of what we do.

    We would like to thank KSTP and Kristin Stinar for their help and coverage, Dakota County DA Jim Backstrom, and the Department of Transportation for taking what we do seriously enough to alert, arrest and prosecute based off of our work. Thank you very much.

    And a note to all the other Shawn Barnett's out there, do your job or you not only may lose it, but you may end up finding yourself at the control of someone else.