Sex offender notice goes out to Curry County residents

Port Orford, Ore. – The Curry County Sheriff’s Office is notifying the public about a “high risk” sex offender that is residing in Port Orford.

According to Oregon State Police, in 1998, James Merlin Barker picked up a prostitute and took her to a remote area where he threatened her with a knife, choked her and bit her several times. He was convicted of attempted rape following the incident.

In 2009, Barker was convicted of encouraging child sex abuse after images of child pornography were found on his computer.

The Curry County Sheriff’s Office said Barker’s criminal history classifies him as a predatory sex offender with the potential to re-offend.

Barker now resides in the 42000 block of Vista Drive in Port Orford. He is described as 53 years old, 6’3” tall, 212 pounds with blonde/strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes.

OSP said Barker may not knowingly communicate with anyone under 18 years of age with the intent to commit a crime “or for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of this individual or another person.”

In addition, he may not knowingly enter a place where people under 18 regularly congregate.

The notification was made to promote community awareness and child safety. Police say it was not made to encourage anyone to stop, arrest or detain Barker.

You can view the full bulletin HERE.

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