NEVADA. Mo. — A Vernon County judge has sentenced a 22-year-old Nevada man to seven years in prison on child molestation and child pornography convictions.

Judge James Nichols assessed Robert L. Barnes concurrent terms of seven years on two counts of third-degree child molestation and a single count of possession of child pornography at a hearing Monday in Vernon County Circuit Court.

Barnes pleaded guilty to the reduced charges Nov. 16 in a plea deal with the prosecutor's office. He had been facing more serious charges of statutory rape and statutory sodomy in addition to the pornography offense.

Barnes was accused of having sexual relations with a 13-year-old girl in June of last year. The victim disclosed the matter in an interview in July at the Children's Center in Nevada, according to court records.

A probable-cause affidavit states that Barnes admitted having sex with the girl at a residence in Nevada but claimed she told him she was older than she proved to be. Authorities also found photos of the girl on his phone.

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Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.