THIS POST HAS BEEN EDITED BY MODERATION
Attaching a pre-post disclaimer from the moderation team:
The actions described in the following post may be disturbing to read, but as a moderation team we have come to consensus that public personal posts about abuse and assault should be left up. These posts act as an example for others who might also be put in difficult situations, as well as continue to educate the community on how to deal with these situations when they arise.
It is important to note that while ChiefDelphi is a place for conversation, the proper channels for reporting abuse this is through national reporting hotlines, school counselors, local law enforcement, and - if it is FIRST related or happens in the FIRST community, through FIRST’s reporting portal (https://www.pavesuite.com/FIRST/PublicPortal/HomePage ).
CW// Suicide, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Grooming
Since the surfacing of IFI drama, I have decided that Chief Delphi would be a good place to spread the word about my experience with Sam Barbee, member of 7179 from Garland, Texas.
Back in early 2021 (after his separation from IFI, they are in no way involved in this) Sam (20) started helping out my VEX team. He added me (15) on instagram somehow and started direct messaging me. I didn’t know anything about him so I responded and we just had a normal conversation about robotics. His profile picture was something from when he was in high school, so I thought nothing about it. After a while, he began coming to the school more often, and I found out that he was an adult man. He started making these uncomfortable comments to me and would say just some outright weird things, especially to a minor. Worlds was quickly approaching, so Sam spent more time at the lab working on the robot and such with my other teammate and I. I’m not too sure if the dates and anything like that, but he soon started trying to get closer to me and even offered me a job at his company (Hytex CNC)
Of course, I was elated. A job that significant for someone of my age was crazy, and I really looked up to Sam. I didn’t want to do anything to mess up the opportunity. I remember one time when a sister team was working on a robot, he convinced me to sneak out with him to go get smoothies. I went.
Hidden text: description of sexual assault
He kept looking at me and eventually started touching my thighs. As we were driving around, he even tried to kiss me.
Later that evening he sent me a really pathetic message about how he “liked me” and how “we wouldn’t do anything illegal and he would wait until I turned 17.”
Nothing too notable happened until my org went to a VEX signature event in June of 2021. We were staying in a hotel because of the distance, and Sam was so excited because he wanted to take this opportunity and sleep with me. A 15 year old child. The whole event I was extremely anxious so he took me out to his car to get some “advil” and started ranting to me because we were leaving a night earlier than he had thought. Anyways, Sam would get extremely upset when I talked to males about alliances and such. I even hugged a friend of my goodbye, and he used that for months as an excuse to kill himself.
The 21-22 VEX season was starting up again, and I was a solo team this time. Same convinced me to do it. Like last time, I started being around him more and he continued to be weird. Over the summer he would tell me to send inappropriate and provocative pictures of myself to him, and if I didn’t, he would kill himself. Looking back at it now, I know it was stupid, but I was too naive at the time. He would send me videos of him doing inappropriate things and made me send back. It was terrible and that’s all I want to say about that.
Hidden text: description of sexual assault
At the lab, he would touch me. Under the table, he would reach for my private parts and grab my thighs. I would bend over to grab something and and he’d hump me. He even made me touch him too.
This happened for 8 months. If I didn’t comply, Sam would start breaking down, storm out of the building even, and threaten to harm himself.
One time in October of 2021, it was so bad. I finally realized what was happening to me. I had no way to escape. He was having another one of his episodes, calling me sobbing, saying he was going to drive his car into a tree or something. I ended up turning off my phone and tried to take my own life. I know I probably sound crazy, but I don’t want to go into more detail then I already have about the entire situation. I’m a year clean from self harm, but Im still reminded daily of what he did to me. I’m still miserable because of him.
January of this year, I told a friend from out of town, who ultimately contacted my school and robotics organizations. With this, the police were involved and Sam Barbee is no longer allowed within a certain radius of the school. I’ve had no way of getting this out. I want everybody who sees this to know that Sam Barbee is a predator. If he had the chance, he would’ve raped me. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. I want all teams to see this, and to keep him away from your students. He is a disgusting human being.