Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Judge Catches Heat After Giving Child Custody to Mother’s Alleged Rapist, Reverses Ruling | Video

*A Louisiana judge caught major heat after giving an alleged rapist full custody of his teenage daughter, who was stripped away from the women he reportedly sexually assaulted. 

We reported earlier that the woman is speaking out after the man she claims raped her was granted full custody of her teenage daughter. She was also ordered to pay him child support. 

Crysta Abelseth told WBRZ that she met John Barnes at a bar in Louisiana in 2005 when she was 16, and he was 30. She claims Barnes offered to take her home but instead took her to his residence and raped her on his living room couch. The sexual assault resulted in pregnancy.

When Abelseth learned about the child in 2011 he decided to pursue custody and won. Earlier this year, Republican Judge Jeffrey Cashe gave him full custody of Abelseth’s 16-year-old daughter, after Barnes complained about the mother giving the teen a cellphone without his permission. Abelseth was also ordered to pay her rapist child support. 

READ MORE: Louisiana Woman Loses Custody of Daughter to Rapist, Ordered to Pay Him Child Support | Video

Abelseth took her story to the media, sparking both outrage and support. Judge Cashe found himself at the center of fierce backlash over his handling of the case. On Tuesday, he reportedly reversed his decision after Abelseth went public with her shocking custody battle with Barnes. 

After a DNA test confirmed paternity, Barnes was initially granted 50 percent custody. In 2015, Abelseth pressed charges against him, alleging simple rape. She waited so long to file a report because she didn’t know she had the option. As noted by Complex, no one under 17 can legally consent to sexual intercourse under Louisiana law 

“I was young and I didn’t know the law at the time. I didn’t think I had any more time to do it,” she said. “I thought if I didn’t do it right after it happened—like, the next day—then there was nothing I could do about it […] I went to that trauma counselor, and he informed me, ‘No, you have 30 years after you turn 18.’”

While the rape investigation is open, law enforcement has refused to take any action.

Louisiana officials are now being slammed by the public for their handling of the rape case. 

On Tuesday, Judge Cashe temporarily revoked Barnes’ custody of the teen, who is now in the care of a guardian. There were allegations that he was abusing the daughter before he was granted custody. 

“What I want the public to know is in 2015, we dropped the ball,” Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards told WBRZ. “It was an accident and not some conspiracy. I feel bad for Crysta that happened. But, I want the public to know this was not a willful continuing failure.”

The judge is expected to make a decision on custody during a July 15 hearing.  

It’s unclear if Barnes will be charged with statutory rape for the 2005 incident.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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