WINDOM — A Windom resident is set for an initial court appearance Tuesday morning on multiple charges of possession of child pornography.
The federal Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force began investigating William Barlow, 37, in 2019, eventually bringing the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and the Windom Police Department in as well.
ICAC provided information sent through a cyber-tip. The files reportedly included videos sent through Barlow's Facebook Messenger account that depicted child pornography. Based on this evidence, the Windom Police Department applied for a search warrant, which was executed Aug. 30, 2019.
In the search, law enforcement seized Barlow's personal cell phone and sent it to the BCA. The BCA allegedly discovered the following saved on the cell phone:
- "More than five" depictions of pornographic works showing minors
- "Many" Google searches for child pornography
- "Numerous" conversations between Barlow and others that discuss sexual contact with minors
After the search of his residence, Barlow was interviewed by a BCA agent, according to the criminal complaint. During that interview, it is reported that he admitted to having child pornography, saying it was "just fantasy." He then allegedly told the investigator that he'd only seen the videos because they appeared as pop-ups, and that he had gotten a new cell phone because he "didn't want to be a part of it." He reportedly denied having searched for child pornography.
Barlow was charged Dec. 9, 2020 with five counts of possession of pornographic work that depicts minors. Each of the felony offenses carries a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
Because Barlow received a court summons rather than being arrested, he does not have a mug shot available.