This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information regarding Michael Barton is asked to contact law enforcement.
BISMARCK, Mo. — A Bismarck man on the Missouri Sex Offender Registry was arrested and charged after investigators said they found child sexual abuse material in his possession in mid-November.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control (DDCC) announced Monday that Michael Barton, 43, was charged on Nov. 16 with child molestation, statutory sodomy and two counts of sexual exploitation of a child.
The DDCC’s Digital Forensics Investigative Unit and Missouri State Park Rangers said it was contacted on Nov. 12 to assist with an investigation into Barton after he had been arrested by rangers at Elephant Rocks State Park in Iron County.
At the time of his arrest, rangers found two children with Barton. Investigators believed the children could be victims of child sexual abuse after finding information during a consensual search of his cell phones. They obtained a warrant for his phones and found evidence of sexual abuse he had committed against the children.
Barton is currently being held in the Madison County Jail, with no bond.
Barton was previously convicted in 2009 of possessing child sexual abuse material.
This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with information regarding Barton was encouraged to contact Corporal Dustin Reed with the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control at (573) 431-0166 ext. 4320.
Resources for victims of child sex crimes:
- Call the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline at 800-25-ABUSE (800-252-2873) if you suspect that a child has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed by abuse or neglect. If you believe a child is in immediate danger of harm, call 911 first.
- If you suspect child abuse, call the Missouri Hotline number at 1-800-392-3738. The team is available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are hearing or speech impaired, call Relay Missouri at 1-800-735-2466 (voice) or 1-800-735-2966 (text). If you are mandated by law to report child abuse and neglect, you can make a report online here.
- To report a crime to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, visit their CyberTipline online.