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Attorney pleads guilty in child exploitation case

A local attorney pleaded guilty in Clayton County State Court, Tuesday, to misdemeanor charges involving improper contact with a minor.

Robin Meredith Levin, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of obscene material, and one count of criminal attempt to contribute to the delinquency of a minor, according to Levin's attorney, Keith Martin.

Information included in an application for an arrest warrant, filed in Clayton County Magistrate Court by Clayton County Police, said that Levin contacted a 16-year-old girl on Facebook in October 2007, and asked her "about her virginity and how far she had gone with a boy."

Clayton County Police Detective Joanne Southerland also wrote in the warrant application that Levin "asked the victim if she was a good kisser, and suggests he has to ‘test her out.' "

According to the application, Levin also e-mailed a picture of himself to the victim's e-mail account. "The image depicts a white male exposed from his neck area, to the pubic area," the application states.

The 16-year-old girl informed her mother about the communication with Levin, according to court documents. The girl's mother, who worked with Levin at the Clayton County Indigent Defense Administration Office, informed her supervisor of the incidents, and police were contacted, according to statements made in court Tuesday.

Court records state that, after police were contacted, an undercover detective was present with the victim when Levin contacted the victim online. According to the application for the arrest warrant, the undercover detective witnessed Levin committing a lewd act in front of a web camera.

"The accused [Levin] was actually enticing an undercover detective, who was using [the victim's] e-mail account," the warrant states.

After pleading guilty to the two misdemeanor counts, Tuesday, Levin was sentenced to 40 days in jail, 24 months probation, a $2,000 fine, and 200 hours of community service, according to Martin.

Martin said Levin was also sentenced to the following:

• Continued counseling and treatment at the Behavioral Medical Institute in Atlanta.

• No contact with the victim's family.

• That he not visit the Harold R. Banke Justice Center or the Clayton County Jail (for the period of the probation, following the jail sentence).

• That he not visit social networking sites, such as Facebook or Myspace, for the period of the probation.

• That he not be alone with a female under age 18, not related to him, for the period of the probation.

Martin said Levin has already completed the community service requirement, and received credit for three days already spent in jail. Levin must report to the Clayton County Jail by 6 p.m, on January 22, Martin said.

During Tuesday's hearing, the victim's parents addressed the court, giving emotional statements. "Being a member of the state bar, he knew better," said the victim's father — who is also a local attorney — as he pointed at Levin.

The victim's mother also addressed the court. "I trusted him. I had no idea anything like this would happen," the mother said in court.

Levin addressed the victim's family during the hearing. "I just beg you to somehow, maybe, forgive me," he said, in tears.

"He's [Levin] glad to get closure on it," said Martin, following the hearing. "It was certainly a fair sentence, and my hopes are that everybody heals and goes on."

Several Clayton County judges and prosecutors had recused themselves from handling the case, according to testimony during the hearing. As a result, Fayette County Assistant Solicitor General Alisha Thompson represented the state in the case. Thompson declined to comment, following the hearing.

Retired Barrow County Judge T. Penn McWhorter presided in the case, according to the court reporter.