Coast Guard lieutenant indicted on child porn charges

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A U.S. Coast Guardsman has been charged with accessing, possessing and distributing child porn.

A release from the Coast Guard states that Lt. Sean Barnhill was investigated by the FBI for conduct that occurred off-duty on his personal computer. The Coast Guard Investigative Service is assisting the FBI with the investigation.

Barnhill had been assigned to the Coast Guard 9th District command center in Cleveland when the alleged misconduct was investigated. He has since been reassigned to a different position where he does not have access to classified or sensitive materials.

“The charges against Lieutenant Barnhill, if proven, suggest a broad deviation from our Coast Guard core values of honor and respect,” Rear Adm. Fred Midgette, commander of the Coast Guard 9th District, said in the release. “We continue our cooperation with the Department of Justice to ensure a comprehensive investigation and a fair trial.”

If convicted, Barnhill’s sentence would be determined by the court after a review of factors unique to the case, including his prior criminal record.

The Coast Guard will defer any decision to prosecute until after the Department of Justice completes its prosecution.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.