Man Charged With Raping Girl He Met Over The Internet

By Shannon Davidson

(LOUISVILLE, Ky., August 16th, 2004, 9:25 p.m.) -- An Alabama man is behind bars, charged with raping a young Louisville girl. Police say the man met the 12-year-old girl over the Internet, then drove to Louisville and took her to an area motel. WAVE 3's Shannon Davidson has more.

When sexual predators travel to meet children they've met over the Internet, often times, they have police detectives waiting for them at the designated spot. But police say this time the alleged suspect had a 12-year-old victim waiting for him.

What started out as a search for a missing 12-year-old Louisville girl quickly led to the arrest of 45-year-old Barry Shutt from Hartselle, Alabama.

After the girl's family located her on Friday, she revealed troubling news about where she'd been with Shutt, what allegedly happened and how they met.

"They did meet over the Internet, said Lt. Thomas Dreher with the Metro Police Crimes Against Children Unit. "I don't know what form of communication ... chat room, instant messaging. But they did converse back and forth, and one thing led to another."

Police say Shutt got in his car, drove up from Alabama and met the girl down the street from her home. They say he then brought her to the Royal Inn Motel on Dixie Highway.

According to the police report, that's where the girl was sodomized and raped by Shutt.

Metro Police found Shutt still at the motel Saturday and arrested him. They're waiting on the results of a rape kit, and are retrieving information from the girl's computer. They are also investigating whether Shutt faces similar charges in Alabama.

"We are very interested in his computer because that's going to hold a lot of valuable information as well," said Dreher. "Not only for our case, but for other potential cases that are out there.;"

Police say this should be a wake-up call for parents to do all they can to prevent Internet predators from reaching their children.

"By taking that computer, place it in a high traffic area within the household, so periodically, adults can come by and monitor their children's activity on the Internet," said Dreher.

Barry Shutt faces charges of sodomy, rape, and tampering with evidence. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison. Shutt remains in custody at Metro Corrections with a $50,000 full cash bond.

Online Reporter: Shannon Davidson

Online Producer: Charles Gazaway