A former Colorado Springs firefighter admitted Tuesday that he exchanged child pornography with fellow users of a shadowy online forum they called “Fun Times” — a crime that could land him in prison.

Robert Stambaugh, 59, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual exploitation of a child, all felonies.

Stambaugh, a 32-year local firefighter, retired days after his arrest in October, said Fire Capt. Brian Vaughan. Stambaugh previously was the Security-Widefield fire chief.

Authorities say he belonged to a group on Kik, a free messaging application, that posted and commented on photos and videos of girls as young as 2 engaging in sexual acts. Some of the comments described the users participating in sexual acts with other young girls, including their children.

In addressing the court, Stambaugh said his activities were limited to trading images of underage girls with fellow users.

Longtime Colorado Springs firefighter part of 'Fun Times' child porn ring, according to affidavit

Under terms of his plea bargain, he faces four to 12 years on two of the counts and two to six years on the third. He also will be eligible for probation with up to 90 days in jail or up to two years on jail work release.

Stambaugh remains free on $250,000 bond pending sentencing June 11 before 4th Judicial District Judge David Gilbert.

The “Fun Times” group came under scrutiny by police in Boone, N.C., who followed subscriber information to an IP address leading 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.

An arrest affidavit said Stambaugh admitted to engaging in “fantasy” talk online, including uploading and downloading images of children under 18 engaged in sexual acts. Officers also found a tablet in his garage that contained two pornographic videos involving prepubescent girls and adult males, the affidavit said.

Reporter

I cover legal affairs for The Gazette, with an emphasis on the criminal courts. Tips to lance.benzel@gazette.com

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