A Louisiana woman who says she became pregnant while sexually assaulted as a teenager has lost custody of her daughter to her alleged abuser, an ABC affiliate WBRZ informed of. A judge has also ordered them to be given child support.
A 16-year-old Krista Abelseth met John Barnes, then 30 years old, in 2005 at a bar in downtown Hammond. He offered to give her a ride home.
“Instead of bringing me home, he brought me to his house,” Abelseth told WBRZ. “Once inside, he raped me on his living room sofa.”
Abelset, 32, said she became pregnant after the attack. She said that most people had assumed that the child belonged to her boyfriend at the time.
“…and I let them believe it,” Abelseth told the news station.
She gave birth to a baby girl and started rebuilding her life. But in 2011, when Abelseth’s daughter was 5 years old, Barnes learned she might have children and took custody. Abelseth said Barnes received 50/50 custody at the time.
WBRZ reported that court records show that a DNA test was performed that proved Barnes was the father. But, even if the sexual encounter between the two was consensual – and Abelseth says it was not – it would be illegal in Louisiana, because of the age of consent. The state has 17.
In 2015, Abelseth learned that he was still able to report rape.
“I thought if I didn’t [report Barnes] The next day, there was nothing I could do about it,” she told a local news outlet. “I went to a trauma counselor, and he said, ‘No, you have 30 years after you turn 18.'”
That same year, Abelseth filed criminal charges against Barnes at the Tangipaho Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the case is still open. Abelseth said nothing has happened since filing the report nearly a decade ago.
“It was never assigned to a detective, and nothing was ever investigated,” Abelseth told WBRZ.
This is unfortunately not rare. three out of four are sexual assaults not informed Of the Police. According to RAINN, only 13 out of every 1,000 rape cases Prosecutors are referred. and only seven In cases of felony conviction.
According to WBRZ, a judge this year gave Barnes full custody of their daughter after Abelseth accused him of giving the teenager a cellphone.
The outlet reported that the court’s records regarding the matter were inexplicably sealed.
“He has bullied me several times, saying he has ties to the justice system, so I should be careful and he can take it whenever he wants,” she recalled. “I didn’t believe him until that happened.”
WBRZ also reported that Barnes’ business Gumbeux Digital Branding lists the Ponchatoula Police Department, based in Tangipahoa Parish, as a client. As of Wednesday, the department’s name is not shown on the business’s site. The site also seems to be under construction, according to a default page that appears when someone clicks on the option for free quotes.
Less than 24 hours after Abelseth’s interview with WBRZ on Monday, District Attorney Scott Perriloux confirmed He is reviewing the matter.
need help? travel the rain National Sexual Assault Online Hotline either National Sexual Violence Resource Center website,