A registered sex offender is being held in lieu of $100,000 bond on charges that he allowed two children to live in his home.

Sammy Curtis Barnard, 69, Primrose Circle, Maryville, was arrested by Blount County Sheriff's deputies at 3:34 p.m. Nov. 26 and is scheduled to appear at a 1:30 p.m. hearing today, Dec. 1, in Blount County General Sessions Court.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Sex Offender Registry said Tuesday, Nov. 30, that Barnard's criminal history was temporarily unavailable, but it classified him as violent and listed three offenses from January 2019: one of sexual exploitation of a minor and two of solicitation of a minor. 

A church member who knew Barnard was a sex offender went to a home on Nov. 24 to offer Thanksgiving arrangements for the children, both younger than 13, saw him and videotaped the encounter, according to a Blount County Sheriff's Office report.  

"Mr. Barnard can then be seen putting his hands on (redacted) head and hair playfully and she smacks his hands away multiple times," the report said.

At that time the children's guardian said they were moving across the street because they were being evicted.

The report says someone whose name is redacted made a report to the state Department of Children's Services after seeing the video but "they advised they would not be following up," according to the report.

BCSO deputies conducting a welfare check on Nov. 26 reported a man told them Barnard did not live at the address and permitted a deputy to check the house. The deputy reported, "the house looked a little bare and was covered in cat waste and trash bags. There were empty cases of beer all over the house." A small child's bicycle was leaning against the back of the house, according to the report. 

A neighbor told a deputy that the children were living in the residence and Barnard was frequently present. The neighbor also said the adults in the residence were constantly under the influence of alcohol and "the children are out frequently after dark and have been seen asking neighbors for food," the report said. 

An ankle monitor on Barnard alerted deputies that he was heading to the residence, according to the report, and they placed him under arrest and read his Miranda rights.

Barnard told police he allowed the children and their guardian to live at his residence because they had been evicted, and he had been trying to find a new place to live and found a cabin in Townsend where he could stay for $250 a week, the report said. 

According to the BCSO report Barnard "knew the children were not allowed to stay with him, but advised the kids 'like him so much it's hard to keep them away" and "they're always running over to me and coming to the house," when they lived nearby. Barnard told deputies he had never been alone with the children.

A DCS worker was expected to conduct a home visit on Monday, Nov. 29, and arrangements were made for the children to stay with someone temporarily. That person told deputies he had recorded a conversation with the children's guardian "and she admitted to him she allowed Mr. Barnard to stay in the home with the children." 

Education Reporter

Amy Beth earned her degree from West Virginia. She joined The Daily Times in 2016 on the education beat covering Alcoa, Maryville and Blount County school systems.

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