Robert Patrick Stambaugh
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Robert “Ski” Patrick Stambaugh

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A Colorado Springs firefighter arrested Wednesday on suspicion of child pornography charges was a member of an online chat group where adults bragged about sexually preying on children, according to an arrest affidavit.

Robert Stambaugh, 59, a former Security Fire Department chief and a 32-year veteran of the Colorado Springs Fire Department, was part of a private online group called “Fun Times” on Kik, a free messaging app, that was being investigated by the Boone Police Department in North Carolina for online sexual exploitation of children. The investigation also is looking into whether children in El Paso County were victims.

Users of the group posted and commented on photos and videos of girls as young as 2 years old engaging in sexual acts. Some of the comments described the users participating in sexual acts with other young girls, including their children.

Subscriber information received from Kik matched the IP address from one of the usernames to Stambaugh’s home on Waterside Drive. His username and email address referenced his employment at the Security and Colorado Springs fire departments, authorities said.

Law enforcement officials questioned Stambaugh at his home Wednesday. Arrest records say he admitted to engaging in “fantasy” talk online, including uploading and downloading images of children under the age of 18 engaged in sexual acts.

Officers also found a tablet in his garage that contained two pornographic videos involving prepubescent girls and adult males.

He was arrested on suspicion of two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, one for publishing and one for possessing videos of child pornography. Both are felonies.

Stambaugh is assigned to Colorado Springs Fire Department’s Fire Station 8.

Fire Department spokesman Capt. Brian Vaughan said Stambaugh’s next scheduled workday is Sunday, at which time he will be placed on administrative leave with pay.

That could be changed to without pay after the Fire Department reviews the charges and the police report, he said.

He remained in El Paso County jail Thursday on $250,000 bond, inmate records showed.

Stambaugh was born and raised in the Security-Widefield area and began his firefighting career at age 20, according to a Gazette article written about him in 2009. He graduated from Widefield High School.

Twitter: @lizmforster Phone: 636-0193

Twitter: @lizmforster

Phone: 636-0193

Liz Forster is a general assignment reporter with a focus on environment and public safety. She is a Colorado College graduate, avid hiker and skier, and sweet potato enthusiast. Liz joined The Gazette in June 2017.

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