Ex-Florida DCF spokesman accused of child porn possession


A former spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families is accused of possessing child pornography, The Gainesville Sun reported Tuesday.

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Thomas William Barnes, 67, of Gainesville, was arrested Thursday and charged with possession of sexual performance by a child and promoting a photo of a sexual performance by a child, according to a Gainesville Police Department arrest report.

In August, Yahoo sent a report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a user, later identified as Barnes, allegedly sent a graphic photo of a man and a girl, the report said.

Police used a search warrant and reportedly found child pornography on Barnes’ computer, the Sun reported. The report said the computer contained multiple folders of child pornography that were hidden as subfolders. 

One file titled “Too much” had at least 55 images, the Sun reported.

The content included depictions of sexual intercourse with children as young as 6, Barnes allegedly told police.

Gainesville Police Department spokesman Ben Tobias said Barnes likely faces additional charges because of the multiple pictures.

Barnes was taken to the Alachua County Jail, where he was being held on $150,000 bond, the Sun reported.


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