MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – An emcee working for a dance competition company that held a competition in Mobile a little over a month ago, is behind bars now for allegedly taking video of young dancers in the dressing room.
Officials said 33-year-old Paul Barbour worked for a dance competition company called Kids Artistic Revue, or KAR, which travels all across the country to host dance competitions for boys and girls from ages four through 18.
Saturday, May 31, Barbour was caught in California trying to secretly take video of girls in the dressing room of a KAR competition.
After Barbour was arrested, officials said they found thousands of child pornography images at his home, as well as large stashes of psychadelic mushrooms.
“Our office started investigating, and we were able to tie Mr. Barbour to the camera, and then later on during the investigation we found a large amount of controlled substances as well as, at this point, thousands of images of child porn,” said Bobby Taghavi, with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Taghavi said the photos found at Barbour’s home were not of girls involved with the competitions.
However, Taghavi said the investigation is still ongoing, and officials are still looking to see if Barbour recorded girls in dressing rooms at any other competitions hosted around the country, like the one held in Mobile.
“The investigations is very fluid in these types of cases, so we’re doing, as fast as we can, going through and making sure we analyze all of the forensics and see whether or not this action had taken place in other places,” said Taghavi.
A dance studio from Mobile and a studio from Robertsdale competed at the KAR competition in April.
FOX10 spoke with a father of a dancer in Robertsdale about the allegations.
“It is close to home, I’m not shocked, but it is upsetting,” said Bruce Walker, a parent of a young dancer who dances with the studio that competed in the KAR competition, “You have a lot of children and their families affected by this.”
He said he is going to keep a close eye on his daughter’s dance activities.
“You know, it’s the world we live in, and awareness is key,” said Walker, “Teachers, instructors, or anybody affiliated with this type of organization, especially the parents, just need to be aware that people like this are out there.”
Meanwhile, officials said they are taking Barbour’s case very seriously, as they said he has victimized thousands of children.
“Anyone who is downloading child pornography is re-victimizing those victims,” said Taghavi.
FOX10 reached out to KAR for a statement, but we didn’t hear back from them.
They have the following statement posted on their website about the allegations.
It reads in part: “We are shocked to learn about the events that transpired, and have been fully cooperative in this matter… We are thankful to report that the pictures and videos recovered by authorities at his home ‘were NOT related to the girls from the dance production company… The former employee had no prior convictions, and the former employee had a clean personnel file.”
Taghavi said Barbour’s max sentence to serve for these charges is seven years.