Judge Reverses Decision to Give Custody of Teen to Her Mom's Alleged Rapist
The child involved has been temporarily placed in the care of a guardian, with the mother and father sharing visitation on weekends. There will be a new trial to decide the custody issue next month.
A judge has reversed his decision to give a father full custody of his 15-year-old daughter, whose mother says was conceived when she was raped as a minor in 2005.
The child involved has been temporarily placed in the care of a guardian. The father, John Barnes, will share visitation on alternating weekends with the girl’s mother, Crysta Abelseth.
Abelseth says she met Barnes, a web designer, in a bar in Hammond, Louisiana, in 2005, and says he offered her a ride home. At the time, Abelseth was 16 and Barnes was 30.
“Instead of bringing me home, he brought me to his house and once we got there and got inside he proceeded to rape me on his living room couch,” Abelseth told Inside Edition.
When asked why she didn’t report the rape next day, Abelseth said, “I was underage and I shouldn’t have been doing some of the things I was doing.”
Abelseth didn’t file a police report until 10 years later in 2015.
“We were highly intoxicated,” she wrote. “I had woken up on the bathroom floor nude.”
But Barnes was never charged.
“Our department absolutely dropped the ball and we simply must own our mistake,” the local sheriff said.
Abelseth says she doesn’t think her daughter is safe with Barnes.
Barnes has denied raping Abelseth. He says they had consensual sex, adding he thought she was older than 16, because she had a fake ID and said she was a college student.
There will be a new trial to decide the custody issue next month.
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