Hampton city employee charged with distributing child pornography

Robert Keith Dobbins (Photo courtesy: Western Tidewater Regional Jail)

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – An employee with the City of Hampton has been charged with distributing child pornography, records show.

In a disturbing, 12-page federal affidavit, Robert K. Dobbins, 36, is accused of using search terms like “nude children,” and “bath time” to locate images of child pornography.

According to the sex offender registry, Dobbins is employed by the City of Hampton. While in the Navy, he was convicted in a military court of possessing child pornography in January 2005.

A few months later, he began working for the City of Hampton. At the time of his arrest, he had been employed as a pump station mechanic, according to city officials.

City Spokesperson Robin McCormick said his position “did not bring him into contact with the general public.” A background check had not been required for the job, she said.

The federal affidavit states that Dobbins “acknowledged” using his city-issued cell phone to access child pornography.

He reportedly told investigators that he “struggles with sexual issues” and that his “age of interest” is seven and eight-year-old girls.

10 On Your Side went to his listed address at Tamarisk Quay in Hampton on Friday. No one came to the door.

Neighbors said that there was often a lot of noise coming from the home.

Music would frequently blast at late hours, and loud arguing was sometimes heard.

Neighbors told 10 On Your Side that they believe he lived alone, but they would sometimes see him with a woman and a child.

McCormick said that the city has not had contact with Dobbins since his arrest. 10 On Your Side is working to learn if he is technically still an employee.

Dobbins is due back in federal court for a detention hearing on Monday.

Stay with WAVY for updates. This is a developing story. Look for 10 On Your Side’s Liz Kilmer’s reports coming on during tonight’s newscasts on WAVY News 10.