Saturday, November 8, 2008

Donald Barton - Repeat Sex Offender caught by the Child Porn on his Cell Phone

A misplaced cell phone in the rest room of a Morristown hospital led to felony charge of sexual exploitation of a minor against a convicted sex offender.

Donald Barton, 53, was arrested about 11 a.m. Thursday by Morristown Police Department Detective Michael O'Keefe, according to Police Chief Roger Overholt. Barton was being held in the Hamblen County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.

Overholt said the probe was launched Oct. 29 when someone found a cell phone in a rest room of the Morristown Hamblen Hospital. Staffers at the hospital contacted police after discovering what appeared to be child pornography on the device.

An investigation revealed Barton had been in possession of the cell phone and had been in the hospital rest room before the phone was found, Overholt said.

Barton is listed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Sex Offender Registry. He was convicted of aggravated sexual battery in January 1993, Overholt said. Because Barton is labeled a violent sexual offender under state law, he is required to register with the Morristown Police Department, his jurisdiction of residence, four times a year.

The new sexual exploitation charge is a Class D Felony that carries punishment upon conviction of 2-12 years imprisonment.

"The safety of the citizens and especially the children of our community is our number one priority," Overholt said.

"Donald Barton is a previously convicted sexual offender. We will aggressively follow up on any information that might lead us to believe we have a new sex offender or a registered sex offender re-offending, and prosecute him or her to the fullest extent of the law."

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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