NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A former employee with the City of Hampton pleaded guilty Thursday to distribution of child pornography.
36-year-old Robert Dobbins faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 7.
News 3’s Margaret Kavanagh reported on this story when Dobbins was arrested in November 2017.
Court documents say that law enforcement received information from a foreign law enforcement agency regarding the user “DEATHLYROSE55” on Website A. In September 2017, the user responded to an undercover foreign law enforcement officer, indicating that he had committed a hands-on offense against a child. The user also sent the investigator a link that contained child pornography.
Law enforcement linked the email address to a Hampton residence and found that Dobbins was previously convicted of receipt and possession of child pornography in January 2005 while he was in the Navy.
During the execution of a federal search warrant while he was still employed with the City of Hampton, Dobbins told investigators that he “acknowledged accessing child pornography from his city-issued Samsung smartphone on WiFi using the internet.”
The records show Dobbins said his age of interest is girls between the ages of seven and eight, and that he struggles with sexual issues and has a problem.
Dobbins reportedly said that he “[knew] this is illegal, maybe it was about time for me for some serious help,” and that he has a “dark demon side.
They go on to say that he cut and pasted photographs from Facebook from his friends’ daughters in what he described as random life situations and reposted them on Website A. He also said that he “traded” links to child pornography images and videos with other people he met online via Website A.