St. Mary’s College Head Swim Coach Andre Barbins convicted of soliciting and dealing in child porn; admitted exchanging photos with a 12-year-old over the internet

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St. Mary’s College Head Swim Coach Andre Barbins convicted of soliciting and dealing in child porn; admitted exchanging photos with a 12-year-old over the internet

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UPDATE: Andre Barbins was sentenced to six years in Federal Prison in Lisbon, Ohio.

On Feb. 1, 2018, his wife was granted an absolute divorce in St. Mary’s County Circuit Court in Leonardtown, Md., and granted full and sole legal custody of the couple’s minor children.  Due to the conviction on federal charges, the charges filed in Calvert County Circuit Court were dropped.

SOLOMON’S ISLAND, MD. — The nationally recognized swimming coach of St. Mary’s College of Maryland has been charged with soliciting child porn, and obscene material sale to minors, after being tipped off to his activities by Knox County, Illinois Sheriff’s detectives.

Greenbelt, Maryland – On July 6, 2017, U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel sentenced Andre Barbins, age 46, formerly of Solomons, Maryland, to 72 months in prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release, for receipt of child pornography. Barbins pled guilty to the charge on January 26, 2017.

The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Sheriff David Clague of the Knox County (Illinois) Sheriff’s Department.

According to his plea agreement, Barbins used experienceproject.com, a social media application accessible through the internet, to chat with and exchange pictures with a 12-year-old victim located in Illinois. The victim told Barbins directly that she was only 12 years old, nevertheless, Barbins continued chatting and exchanging pictures with the victim over the course of five days. Barbins persuaded the victim to send him pictures containing child pornography. Barbins also sent pornographic pictures of himself to the child. When a search warrant was executed at Barbins’ residence in Solomons, Maryland, officers located several items of furniture that were visible in the photographs that Barbins sent to the victim.

Andre Rudolph Barbins formerly of  Solomons Md. and head swim coach at St. Mary’s College of Maryland convicted of child porn in federal court. 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “resources” tab on the left of the page.

On October 19, 2015, the Knox County Sheriff’s Department received a report of a sexual exploitation of a child involving a victim in Knox County. Upon investigating the report, indecent communications were discovered through a social media website between the victim and a male subject who was over the age of 18.

After months of diligently investigating the allegations, the Knox County Sheriff’s Investigation Division was able to identify a suspect who resided in Maryland. The suspect was identified as Andre Rudolph Barbins, 45, of 213 Pelagic Lane, Solomons, Maryland. With the suspect residing out of State, the Knox County Investigator contacted the Maryland State Police, Division of Internet Crimes Against Children, and discussed the Knox County case. The case file was provided to the Maryland State Police.

Digital images of child pornography were found in Barbin’s home computer, according to court records and after a special child porn task force raided his home to seize computer equipment. The college coach spent one day in jail before being released on bond to his wife, Sharon P. Eliassen.

DWI Hit Parade dating serviceAccording to Maryland State Police, Detectives of the child porn task force, say that they have charged Andre Rudolph Barbins, 45, of 213 Pelagic Lane, Solomon’s Md., with two counts of child porn.

As a result, of the investigation a search and seizure warrant was executed at Barbins’ residence on February 12th, 2016 by Maryland State Police Computer Crimes investigators, state troopers from the Prince Frederick Barrack and agents from the Department of Homeland Security.  Barbins was identified by investigators as the focus of the investigation.  Execution of the search warrant resulted in the seizure of various digital media storage devices. These items were found to contain images of child pornography.

The State Police did not report on whether they searched computers at St. Mary’s College but indicated that the full investigation will likely include data from the college office used by Barbins.

Barbins was charged with driving while impaired by alcohol on March 24, 2009, on Dares Beach Road in Calvert County by a Maryland State Trooper and entered a guilty plea on Aug. 26, 2009, receiving probation before judgment and paying a fine of $192.50 in Calvert County District Court.

The St. Mary’s College of Maryland men’s and women’s swim teams helped head coach Andre Barbins, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, reach a career coaching milestone in 2010, according to the college website.

Dirtbag RoundupCoach Andre Barbins, in his 13th as head coach, has three times been selected as the Capital Athletic Conference Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year, receiving the honor in 2004, 2008 and 2009.

The College lauds Barbins on its website, pointing out that the women have set 52 school records since his arrival in 1998, including establishing 16 of 19 possible SMCM records during the 2008-09 season, and have had six Seahawks qualify for the NCAA Championships while the men have broken 27 school records.

The Seahawk swimmers have also excelled out of the pool as the women have been tabbed as a College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) All-Academic Team during all 12 years of Barbins’ tenure while the men have earned the honor five times.

 

 

Andre Barbins kiddie porn suspect is St. Mary's College Swimming Coach
Barbins milestone in St. Mary’s College athletics.

A 1993 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, he was a four-year letter winner and team captain for the Battling Bishops.  After leaving OWU, Barbins spent one season as the head coach at Regina H.S. in Euclid, Ohio, and one season as an assistant coach at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

He left Ohio for Washington College in Chestertown, Md., where he earned a master’s degree in psychology while serving as a graduate assistant coach for two seasons.  After his stint in Washington, Barbins spent a year and a half as an assistant coach at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

According to land records, Barbins and his wife Sharon Eliassen paid $784,640 for their home in Solomon’s in 2005.

The college marketing director released this statement: “St. Mary’s College of Maryland learned that Andre Barbins, the College’s head swimming coach, has been arrested. The College is taking all steps necessary to protect the safety of its campus and community and is cooperating fully with law enforcement. Assistant Coach Hattie Schiavone has assumed coaching duties.”

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