Bismarck registered sex offender charged with six felonies – Daily Journal Online | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

Michael Edward Barton
Missouri State Highway Patrol

Iron County Prosecutors charged Michael Edward Barton, 43, of Bismarck, with six felonies this week. He is charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, one count of a sex offender within 500 feet of a park or playground, three counts of failure to register as a sex offender, and one count of resisting or interfering with a felony arrest.

In April 2009, Barton pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in Granite City, Illinois. A probable cause statement from the Missouri State Park Rangers states that on Sunday, Barton was at Elephant Rocks State Park with two minor boys, ages 12 and 8, who were not his children. Barton was observed within 500 feet of a playground where children were playing in a 2007 gray BMW listed on his sex offender registry.

Rangers performed a traffic stop in the parking lot. During the stop, two boys were discovered in the backseat of Barton’s car. Barton was placed in the patrol car and read his Miranda Rights. During an interview, Barton stated he forgot he could not be around playgrounds and had permission to be with the children in his car.

The park ranger stated, “I asked the defendant for permission to search his cell phone, which he granted, and stated there was nothing on it. While reviewing the pictures on the cell phone, I observed several pictures of the children in the vehicle without shirts on in the defendant’s residence. I also discovered a picture of another cell phone. On the other cell phone were the social media accounts ‘Snapchat’ and ‘YouTube.’ The defendant stated he had accounts for both, and they are not listed on his sex offender registry form.

On the Snapchat picture was one of the juvenile’s faces with a username matching the juvenile’s first name. Another Snapchat from the same username showed several still shots of pornographic videos from the website ‘porn-hub,’ with the caption ‘doin’ it rn,’ While reviewing the cell phone, I observed the dates of the pictures to be dated more than three business days prior to contact with the defendant. This, along with his admissions, indicated he was in violation of his registration requirements under RSMo 589.414 regarding these two accounts and second phone.”

When confronted with the ranger’s findings, Barton said the boy sent the picture to him. He then jumped out of the patrol car in an attempt to flee. The ranger pursued on foot and commanded Barton to “get on the ground.” Barton opened the door of the BMW, where one of the boys was seated as the ranger deployed his taser. The taser was ineffective, and Barton grabbed the boy’s arm. A second taser deployment successfully subdued Barton. He released the boy’s arm, complied with subsequent demands, and consented to a search of his car.

Barton’s second cell phone, the phone not listed on his sex offender registry, was located in the passenger door of the BMW. Both of Barton’s phones were seized as evidence. Rangers believe Barton is a high flight risk “due to the various crimes he committed and the outcome of search warrants of his cell phone.” Barton is believed to be a danger to the boys found in his car because Barton was Snapchatting pornographic pictures to one of the boys. Investigators believe Barton is a danger to the greater community because he is a registered sex offender who was present at a state park with children who do not belong to him. Barton is in custody awaiting further legal action.

Jeannie Northrup is a staff writer with the Daily Journal. She can be reached at [email protected]

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