Boaz Police say a DNA match led to the arrest of a Birmingham man for sexual assault of a minor.
Boaz Assistant Police Chief Michael Abercrombie said officers responded to a reported sexual assault of a minor on Jan. 20, 2021.
The minor victim said they had met a male subject online and had shared their home address with him.
The sexual assault took place at that Boaz address.
Robert Clarence Barnes, 44, of Boaz, was later identified after DNA in CODIS (the Combined DNA Index System used by the FBI) matched DNA obtained from a sexual assault exam kit.
The Marshall County District Attorney’s Office issued a warrant for Barnes’ arrest. He was taken into custody on July 27, 2021, at his place of employment, Meyer Distributing in Birmingham, and charged with second-degree sodomy.
Barnes was transported to the Marshall County Jail on July 28 where he was held on a $150,000 bond. He was released later the same day after posting bond.
Abercrombie extended his thanks to the Marshall County DA’s Office, East Metro Area Crime Center (EMACC) and the Birmingham Fugitive Task Force for their help and cooperation in arresting Barnes.
Keep your child safe
The Alabama District Attorneys Association said one in five children are solicited sexually while on the internet. The ADAA gives the following tips for keeping children safe while online.
• Educate yourself about the websites, software, games and apps that your child uses.
• Check their social media and gaming profiles and posts. Have conversations about what is appropriate to say or share.
• Explain to children that once images or comments are posted online, they can be shared with anyone and never truly disappear.
• Make sure children use privacy settings to restrict access to their online profiles.
• Tell children to be extremely wary when communicating with anyone online whom they do not know in real life.
• Encourage children to choose appropriate screen names and to create strong passwords.
• Make it a rule that children cannot arrange to meet up with someone they met online without your knowledge and supervision.
• Stress to children that making any kind of threat online – even if they think it is a joke – is a crime.
• Report any inappropriate contact between an adult and your child to law enforcement immediately. Notify the sit they were using, too.