SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 23, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Florida man has been arrested in Utah on a charge of enticing a minor, a second-degree felony.
A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake County said Robert Brandon Barkau, 43, was arrested Tuesday afternoon.
Barkau was taken into custody in connection with an investigation conducted by a detective with the Salt Lake City Organized Crime Unit. The detective had been communicating with the suspect via a popular social media application since Oct. 11. The detective was posing as a female under the age of 14.
Barkau messaged who he thought was the female and the detective told Barkau the female was under the age of 14. The suspect acknowledged that fact and continued to message who he believed to be the female; then allegedly requested sexual acts.
He then began referring to the “minor” as Minnie Mouse and allegedly messaged her almost daily for the entire investigation. The detective also sent Barkau a photograph of the “minor.”
Barkau was in Florida during all the conversations with the detective.
On Dec. 22, the suspect flew to Utah and got a hotel room in Salt Lake City.
“Robert talked about meeting the girl when he came to Utah throughout the entire conversation,” the statement said. “That day, Robert requested the girl go to the hotel and meet him. He also requested she bring a swimsuit to get into the hot tub and sauna.”
The detective told Barkau the “girl” would get a friend to drop her off at the lobby. The detective then arrived in the lobby with an informant who looked like the girl. The informant sat in the lobby and the detective messaged the suspect that she had arrived. Barkau responded from his hotel room to the lobby and made contact with the informant, and motioned for her to come with him back to his room.
He was then taken into custody and transported to the police department, where he refused to speak with the detective.
Barkau has an extensive criminal history including several drug charges, assault, DUI, and a felony theft case. He currently has an active warrant out of Montana for drug charges.
He was transported to Salt Lake County Jail, where he is being held without bail.