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New Mexico Man Sentenced in Child Exploitation Case

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Oct. 20, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that Robert Dennis Bixler, 49, of Socorro, New Mexico was sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of luring before Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Cathy Holt.

By statute, Bixler is required to serve the entire 17 years. Following his prison sentence, he will be placed on lifetime probation and will be required to register as a sex offender.

In November 2004, Bixler met someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl named “Kari” in an Internet teen chat room. In fact, he was communicating with a sergeant with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

He was indicted for sending child pornography to a minor and for attempting to set up a meeting with the young girl in Mesa. Bixler traveled from New Mexico to Mesa, where he was arrested by MCSO officers. At the time of his arrest, officers found a tiara, T-shirt and panties he was planning to give the young girl to model for him.

The arrest followed a joint investigation with the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, which executed a search warrant at Bixler’s residence in Socorro where investigators found child pornography on his home computers.

Assistant Attorney General Gail Thackeray prosecuted this case.