Louisiana man accused of raping a girl then getting custody of their little one says ‘it is a lie’

EXCLUSIVE: A Louisiana man accused of raping a girl then profitable a brief custody of their little one vehemently denied the allegations – and mentioned his solely concern is defending their 15-year-old daughter.

Crysta Abelseth instructed Fox Information Digital that John Barnes, then 30, compelled himself on her in 2005 when she was 16 after an evening out with pals at a bar in Hammond, Louisiana– and the sexual assault produced a toddler.

“It is a lie. She was in a bar with a faux ID, telling everybody she was a school scholar,” mentioned Barnes, who owns tech firm Gumbeaux Digital Branding. “I had no thought she was 16, and I did not rape her. That’s completely, unequivocally false.”

5 years after the sexual encounter that he mentioned was consensual, he discovered from Abelseth, now 32, that he might need fathered a toddler. A DNA take a look at confirmed paternity, and he was awarded a joint custody.


Greater than a decade of kid assist and custody litigation ensued with each side repeatedly dragging one another again to court docket. The battle reached a surprising milestone in February when Abelseth accused Barnes of drugging and raping their teen daughter.

Weeks later, Abelseth mentioned that Tangipahoa Parish Household Choose Jeffrey Cache, of the twenty first Judicial District Court docket, handed a brief sole custody to Barnes – all as a result of she gave the teenager a cellphone.

The mother went on a media blitz blasting the lawyer for the choice – and calling Barnes a violent rapistwho’s so politically “well-connected” that he was in a position to corrupt the authorized system and commit the final word injustice.

“All I have been attempting to do is defend my daughter,” Barnes instructed Fox Information Digital. “There isn’t a approach in hell. I’ve influenced seven very high-level organizations which are geared towards defending youngsters’s rights and security into sweeping her claims of rape and little one abuse underneath the rug.”

The choose on the case unsealed a trove of household court docket papers Wednesday stretching again to 2011 in response to Abelseth’s beautiful allegations – and a extra nuanced model of the couple’s messy custody battle has emerged.

The petition for paternity was initiated by Abelseth in 2011, the choose wrote in a submitting. The go well with was filed demanding DNA samples from Barnes and James Threeton, who was incarcerated on the time.

Threeton had signed the kid’s beginning certificates, and the younger woman initially had his final title and referred to as him “daddy,” in line with the information.

After the take a look at revealed that Barnes was the daddy, each mother and father voluntarily agreed to a joint custody in October 2011, with out intervention from the court docket, and that neither would pay little one assist, the filings present.

“Ms. Byrd-Abelseth requested Mr. Barnes to be named as the daddy of the minor little one and constantly consented to the shared custody because the onset of the case,” wrote Cache in a court docket doc.

However Barnes grew pissed off that Abelseth continued to encourage a relationship between ex-con Threeton and the kid, taking the woman to see him in jail, he instructed Fox Information Digital.

“She was undermining my relationship with my daughter, educating my daughter that she has two dads,” Barnes mentioned. A choose later dominated that the kid might haven’t any contact with Threeton.


One other level of rivalry, Barnes mentioned, was a “revolving door” of males at Abelseth’s residence. He repeatedly requested that Abelseth be held in contempt for permitting numerous males to sleep over when their daughter was current – in violation of their custody settlement, court docket papers present.

“Her mom goes by way of males like a revolving door,” he mentioned. “Males had been coming out and in of my kid’s life. She had three husbands in three years and it wasn’t wholesome.”

In June 2012, Abelseth sued for little one assist and a choose dominated that Barnes would pay her $ 450 a month.

Barnes sued for sole custody in Might 2015, accusing Abelseth of continuous to foster a relationship between her daughter and Threeton and having males keep in a single day on the residence when the daughter was current. Additionally they requested for a recent account of their little one assist obligations.

A month later, on July 1, 2015, Abelseth filed a police report for the primary time, alleging that Barnes had raped her, in line with a doc obtained by WBRZ.

Abelseth instructed Fox Information that Barnes had raped her on his sofa, and she or he awoke the following morning nude on his lavatory ground.

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards launched an announcement Friday saying that he had turned over the case to the Workplace of District Lawyer Scott Perrilloux, of the twenty first Judicial District in Louisiana. Perrilloux did not return requests for remark.

Edwards mentioned Abelseth’s grievance wasn’t correctly investigated and “our division completely dropped the ball.”

Abelseth didn’t comply with up on her legal grievance till April 2022, and a staff of investigators was then assigned, however given “the complicated nature of their findings, the case was turned over to the district lawyer’s workplace, which is able to determine whether or not to pursue expenses, “the assertion says.

Her advocate, Stacie Triche, who runs the Save Liv35 Basis, stepped in 8 months in the past after Abelseth reached out for assist. Triche referred to as the ordeal a “horror story” and mentioned “If anyone else would have raped a 16-year-old little one, that particular person would have been in jail.”

In 2016, Cache who had just lately been assigned to the case, ordered Abelseth to pay $ 117 a month in little one assist retroactive to 2015.

Abelseth instructed Fox Information Digital that the choose issued the kid assist determination based mostly on her potential earnings reasoning that she had a grasp’s diploma and may be capable of pull in $ 80,000 a 12 months.

She was making about $ 35,000 working part-time as a waitress at Pontchatoula Seafood and Steak, in line with filings.

Barnes was incomes about $ 102,000 operating his tech firm and dealing for an oil firm.

“She was incomes cash underneath the desk and attempting to keep away from paying little one assist, which is why the choose made that ruling,” mentioned Barnes, who added that she refused to pay for 18 months. The state then started garnishing her wages.

In December 2020, Barnes once more moved for an expanded custody, accusing Abelseth of permitting their daughter, then 14, to “make out” along with her 17-year-old boyfriend in her room unsupervised.

He additionally accused Abelseth of offering their daughter with a second cellphone with unfettered entry to social media when she already had one with parental controls that she had given her.

Just a few weeks later, Abelseth contacted the Division of Little one and Household Providers to report that Barnes had allegedly pulled their kid’s hair and ear, and that the younger woman was afraid to go to his home. She moved to restrict Barnes’ custody.

Cache presided over a listening to in Might 2021, which centered on the secret cellphone the daughter had allegedly been utilizing to add “numerous sexually specific TikTok posts,” in line with court docket papers.

She was additionally sending “inappropriate pictures” by way of the cellphone – together with an image of a herself with a boy in a mattress and sexually specific messages, the papers say.

The choose denied every dad or mum’s request for an expanded custody however ordered them to acquire the cellphone’s passcode and evaluation its contents.

5 months later, in line with the choose, Abelseth nonetheless hadn’t turned over the kid’s cellphone and claimed it had been wiped and stolen.

Cache held her in contempt for letting the kid have a 3rd cellphone, banned the kid from having one other system and ordered each mother and father to have logins for the younger woman’s social media accounts. He additionally ordered Abelseth to pay Barne’s $ 500 in authorized charges.

The allegations reached new and disturbing extremes February 25, 2022.

Abelseth filed for an emergency restraining order in opposition to Barnes in favor of herself and her daughter, which was robotically granted, alleging that he had “drugged and sexually assaulted [their child] two nights in a row “whereas in his residence.


The daughter was taken to Youngsters’s Hospital in New Orleans “the place she was evaluated & the physician confirmed that there’s proof of compelled entry congruent with sexual assault,” Abelseth wrote.

She continued within the handwritten petition for defense, “Felony expenses for sexual assault are pending blood work and testing outcomes.”

Within the petition for the restraining order she recounted Barnes’ alleged sexual assault of her.

“My daughter was conceived because the product of the defendant (John P. Barnes) raping me (Crystal Abelseth) after I was a minor little one of 16 years of age,” she wrote. “I think medication had been utilized by him to sedate me as I used to be unable to maneuver whereas he raped me. Now, it’s alleged that he has dedicated the identical heinous crime on our 15 12 months outdated daughter.”

That is the primary time that Cache says Abelseth talked about that Barnes had raped her because the custody proceedings started in 2011.

Barnes mentioned he was devastated by the accusations. “I did not see or converse to my daughter for a month,” he recalled.

A listening to officer dominated on March 18 that “all legal expenses aren’t being accepted – medical proof doesn’t assist allegations in petition.”

Abelseth, who was residence with the flu, voluntarily dismissed the restraining order on the listening to by way of her lawyer, in line with court docket paperwork.

Three days later, Barnes filed for short-term sole custody, alleging that Abelseth gave their daughter a cellphone in violation of the court docket order, made up false accusations of sexual abuse to realize custody and had allowed their little one to have intercourse with an 18-year- outdated.

He wrote in a petition that Abelseth instructed the kid to “make any allegations in opposition to Barnes in order that he could be arrested.”

That very same day, Cache granted Barnes’ request for sole custody pending the end result of an emergency listening to. Within the meantime, the lawyer gave Abelseth supervised visits on alternating Saturdays.

Abelseth then filed a movement to terminate Barnes’ parental rights based mostly on the kid allegedly being “conceived by way of the fee of a felony rape.” A listening to is being held July 15.

The court docket proceedings have taken a toll on Abelseth and her household, she mentioned. She just lately remarried and has a 17-month-old boy.

“It has been a pressure, positively, on my household now as a result of this consumes my life,” she mentioned. “I am shook to my core… it has taken a flip that is unfathomable.”

Barnes mentioned he adores his daughter and solely needs what’s finest for her and which means having guidelines and bounds. She referred to as her “very clever” and mentioned she needs to change into a nurse and, though she’s nonetheless in highschool, plans to take school programs subsequent 12 months.

“She has a really promising future,” he instructed Fox Information Digital. “I wish to protect that and preserve her heading in the right direction like all loving dad or mum would need for his or her little one.”

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