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Florida man arrested after traveling to Utah for illegal sex with girl, police say

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man who police say traveled from Florida to Salt Lake City to have illegal sex with a young girl was arrested after arriving and discovering the “girl” was actually an undercover officer.

Robert Brandon Barkau, 43, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Tuesday for investigation of enticing a minor.

An officer posing online as a girl “under the age of 14” had been engaged in a conversation with Barkau since October, according to a police affidavit.

“Robert eventually requested sexual acts from the female,” the affidavit states. “Robert began referring to the girl as Minnie Mouse and messaged almost daily for the entire investigation.”

On Tuesday, Barkau flew into Salt Lake City and got a hotel room, and then messaged the girl to meet him. Police used a decoy who waited for Barkau in the lobby of the hotel, the affidavit states. When Barkau made contact with her, he was arrested.

According to the affidavit, Barkau “has an extensive criminal history” and is currently wanted in Montana on drug-related charges.

“Robert’s current warrant out of Montana shows his ability to flee a jurisdiction and never take care of his charges,” the affidavit states.