Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Webcam pedophile says tween girl he spied on seduced HIM ... and judge buys it

David Barnes used a webcam to watch 13-year-old perform sex acts, but escaped prison despite having hundreds of videos and photos of child pornography.

David Barnes used a webcam to watch 13-year-old perform sex acts, but escaped prison despite having hundreds of videos and photos of child pornography.

A pedophile in England was released with a suspended sentence after a judge decided that he was actually the victim of a minor's seduction.

David Barnes, nabbed with more than 600 photos and videos showing child pornography, escaped jail despite fears he could pose a threat to other children, according to British reports.

Barnes, 24, was charged with 17 counts of making indecent images, and one of inciting a 13-year-old to engage in sexual activity while he watched via webcam.

"Many people must be puzzled to say the very least at the leniency of the guideline sentencing," said Judge Peter Fox at the Teesside Crown Court in northern England.

The Darlington man received four months in jail, suspended for two years, along with 300 hours of community service. He must also continue to participate in a sex offender's treatment program, which he was already attending.

Fox defended his decision not to imprison the man because he feared he would not get the treatment he so clearly needed.

"The few weeks you would spend in prison would do nothing to stop you doing this again," he said. "My concern is for the future - the protection of other children."

The judge even went so far as to suggest that one of Barnes' victims was really to blame, accepting the pedophile's defense that the girl "appears to have seduced you."

Barnes was busted in 2009. He was arrested as part of an investigation into chat room conversations between adult men and young girls. The 13-year-old in Barnes' case allegedly had sexual conversations with several men.

"Thirteen-year-olds have to be protected - they are children," said Neil Atkinson, spokesman for the National Victims' Association. "You can't point the finger at a 13-year-old and blame her. The thought of this happening chills the blood."

Judge Fox is known for giving sex offenders light sentences. In 2009, he gave a 21-year-old a suspended sentence after he was accused of having sex with two girls, ages 13 and 15, according to London's The Sun.

In another case, in 2008, Fox let a 40-year-old woman go free despite having had sex with a 14-year-old boy. The judge argued then that the teen had seduced the adult.

An appeals court overturned his sentence and gave her a year in prison.

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