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Stepfather of slain girl sentenced to prison for child porn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man who said he looked at child porn after his 10-year-old stepdaughter was abducted, raped and killed to see if there were any images of the girl online has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Jeff Barfield argued before he was sentenced Tuesday that there was “no criminal intent” and that he wanted to help law enforcement, the Springfield News-Leader reported . The indictment alleges the crimes started in January 2012, two years before his stepdaughter, Hailey Owens, was abducted off a Springfield street in front of horrified witnesses. Her rapist and killer, Craig Wood , has been sentenced to death .

Barfield, 40, pleaded guilty in June to receiving and distributing child pornography.

Barfield admitted during the hearing to engaging in role-playing online chats with adults who were attracted to children, which he said was his way of covertly trying to learn the true identity of child predators so he could inform law enforcement. Barfield said child porn was uploaded to a website on accident while he was on meth.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Kelleher said Barfield didn’t mention any of those reasons when he was first contacted by law enforcement in 2016 about the child porn found on his computer. An investigator told the News-Leader that Hailey was not a victim of Barfield’s crimes, and Wood said during a jailhouse interview that he didn’t know Hailey or her parents.

Kelleher said Barfield was a pedophile with a “deranged and extremely perverted mind,” noting Barfield looked at child porn even after his own stepdaughter was sexually assaulted.

Judge Doug Harpool said it wasn’t his role to make a determination on whether Barfield was trying to protect others. Harpool said his focus was on punishing Barfield for posting child porn images to a public porn website where they could have been seen by thousands of people.

Harpool also ordered Barfield to serve 10 years of supervised release after his incarceration.

Before his arrest in the child porn case, Barfield was leading efforts to pass Hailey’s Law, a piece of legislation that would speed up the state’s Amber Alert system for abducted children.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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