North Myrtle Beach man charged with lewd act on a minor

troot@thesunnews.comNovember 15, 2012 

A 60-year-old North Myrtle Beach man was charged with lewd act on a minor after a 13-year-old girl told Horry County police that he had inappropriately touched her four times since 2007, but officers are investigating nude photos and emails with older men found on the teen’s mobile communication device, according to a police report.

Barry Francis Cooper, 60, was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center at 7:17 p.m. Wednesday and is being held there pending a bond hearing, according to jail reports.

The victim told police she was between the ages of 9 and 13 when the incidents occurred at a home on Lyndon Drive in the Little River subdivision of North Pointe and at a home in New York, according to the report. She said there were four incidents of Cooper inappropriately touching her.

When officers asked Cooper about the incidents, he told police that he had not done anything wrong and the teen was upset because he closed her Facebook account, according to the report. Cooper told officers that he found where the teen had used the computer to visit websites involving older men dating younger women.

Cooper also told officers the teen was acting strange because he found where she had erased text messages to keep him from reading them, according to the report. Officials with the state Department of Social Services told police they were not removing the teen from the home, but asked that Cooper not visit while the victim was there.

Officers also were given an iPod Touch by a 36-year-old woman, who told police she found naked pictures of the teen on there and emails pertaining to older men that had seen the photos and were interested in meeting the teen.

The device was seized as evidence.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723.

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