An 81-year-old from Arkansas has pleaded guilty to soliciting child pornography from underage girls in the Philippines.
In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped five other charges against Richard Bartmann from Atkins. These were three counts of attempted production of child pornography, one count of receiving child pornography and another of possession with intent to view child pornography.
According to Arkansas Online, the solicitation charge alone will carry up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced.
Bartmann was bought to justice after a tip-off from Yahoo to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in December 2015.
The service reported that in March of that year Bartmann had received an email containing eight images of a young girl, nude, posing on a bed.
A search warrant then uncovered 20,000 chats and emails, in Bartmann’s email and Messenger correspondence. It was also confirmed that he had visited the Philippines on a number of occasions.
In an email from January 2016, a correspondent in the Philippines wrote to Bartmann: “I waiting now. I sent you pics… I hope I can get pesi today honey. We don’t have foods. So hungry.”
Bartmann replied: “OK, found pics. Ver nice except back view.” He then gave instructions on how he wanted the pose to look.
The correspondent replied: “OK, I will take again tomorrow.”
In another conversation, two Filipinas said they were 10 and 13 years old, and were keeping their activities “secret” from their mother. Bartmann assured them they weren’t too young for him.
When agents searched Bartmann’s home in August 2016, they seized several devices containing child pornography and documents confirming Bartmann’s travels to Asia.
He admitted that he had solicited and received the images, and that he had even mailed digital cameras to a number of underage girls in the Philippines for them to take sexually explicit photographs for him.
He also admitted that he had visited the Philippines with the intention of having sex with the girls.
However, when asked how many underage girls he’d had sex with on those trips, he replied: “Not a one, much to my chagrin.”
Bartmann is due to be sentenced on May 24.
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