Va. Beach schools employee accused of exploitation of minor


UPDATE Oct. 31, 2019: Emmett Barnard III waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Isle of Wight Thursday. The case will now move on to a grand jury.

VIRGINIA  BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — An employee with Virginia Beach City Public Schools is facing multiple charges in connection to the exploitation of a minor, authorities say.

The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office said 32-year-old Emmett Lewis Barnard III began chatting with someone online he believed was a girl under the age of 15. The girl was a profile created by undercover investigators.

Court documents say this all started about a week and a half ago. An investigator with the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office created an account on a social media marketplace.

The criminal complaint says this was set up to catch people praying on minors, created to look like a 14-year-old girl. 

Paperwork says 22 emails were sent back and forth through the online marketplace, and during those exchanges officials say Barnard was told he was speaking to a 14-year-old girl multiple times.

And even after he knew the girl’s age, he sent a picture of his genitals via text.

Documents say a few days later, Barnard took it a step further and sent a video of him touching himself to the undercover cop. Barnard said that video was recorded in a bathroom of Virginia Beach Public Schools property.

“That type of behavior is not acceptable, it will not be tolerated, and again we will aggressively pursue these kind of cases,” said Lieutenant Tommy Potter with the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office.

The criminal complaint says he also requested nude photos of the undercover cop and different sexual acts.

Barnard allegedly also suggested buying condoms and the morning after pill.

The criminal complaint says he drove out to a Rite Aid in Isle of Wight Couny twice.

Once to scope out the area for police, the other to meet who he thought was the girl.

Barnard is charged with two counts of use of communications systems to expose adult genitals to a minor, use of a communications system to request minor to expose genitals and three counts of use of a communications system to request sex acts from a minor. 

“There is no indication at this point that he had any inappropriate contact with any of the students with the school system where he is currently employed.” added Potter, but says they’re doing further investigation into Barnard’s electronic devices. 

Virginia Beach Police say he is not facing any current charges.

Barnard, who is an IT specialist with Virginia Beach schools, is being held without bond at Western Tidewater Regional Jail.

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