A man traveled several hundred miles to have sex with two underage girls but was met with investigators with the Racine County Sheriff’s Department in a child porn sex sting.

Richard Barney, 56, of Cedar Lake, Indiana, was charged Thursday by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, attempted first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 12, attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age, and three counts of possession of child pornography. If convicted, Barney faces up to 165 years in prison and/or fines up to $450,000.

According to the criminal complaint, a member of the Racine County Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce found an ad posted on Craigslist under the title of “Taboo” that Barney had posted. The ad sought men or women that that were into having “taboo acts” without limits. The investigator believed that Barney was targeting children to have sex.

Barney started the conversation with the investigator, who was posting as a mother with two daughters that were 11- and 15-years-old.

The conversation quickly turned sexual and Barney propositioned the woman, asking her if she would allow him to have sex with her daughters. He told the investigator that he hoped to meet up with the girls twice a month and be a long-term sexual partner, according to the criminal complaint.

“Barney stated it was sad that such a type of love has to be hidden” and sent photos of a penis, according to the complaint.

The investigator set up a meeting at Burger King on Highway 20 and Interstate 94 before going to a hotel to meet the girls to have sex with them. But Barney changed the location and investigators stopped him en route to McDonald’s. When they arrested him, they found he had a bottle of Viagra and a cell phone.

Barney admitted to posting the ad and sending the pictures. But he told them the photos were not of him and they would not find images of child pornography on his phone.

Sheriff Christopher Schmaling made the following statements regarding the arrest:

“Make no mistake, an individual driving all day, from another state, to have sexual contact with children is someone the Racine Sheriff’s Office ICAC task force takes great pride in arresting. Let this be a strong message to all pedophiles considering acting on their perverted thoughts, you are wearing a target. “

Barney is being held at the Racine County Jail on a $100,000 bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for 9 a.m. March 7 in Racine County Felony Court.

Love what we do?

In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.