A Louisiana woman is fighting a court order after she said a judge gave temporary custody of her daughter to the man who she said raped her and impregnated her when she was 16 years old.
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Crysta Abelseth Says She Was Raped At Age 16, Got Pregnant
Crysta Abelseth, 32, claims she was raped by John Barnes when she was 16, which is under the age of consent in Louisiana, and he was 30. Abelseth said they were drinking at the time and Barnes brought her back to his house and raped her.
The assault resulted in Abelseth becoming pregnant with her now teenage daughter, she said.
Barnes Now Has Full Custody Of The Child
Abelseth said Barnes was confirmed by a paternity test to be the child’s biological father, so therefore it's easy to prove that she was underage when the baby was conceived.
Barnes was given sole custody of her daughter earlier this year amid a court battle that dates back to 2011. Abelseth was also ordered to pay him child support, court records show. They initially had shared custody of the child, who is 15 years old today.
Barnes Was Never Charged With A Crime
Abelseth filed a complaint with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office against Barnes in 2015, alleging he'd raped her on Dec. 13, 2005. She said they had been drinking at a bar in Hammond, where Abelseth said she got in with a fake ID.
Abelseth wrote in her statement that Barnes had offered her a ride home, but he took her to his place in Ponchatoula.
"I had woken up on the bathroom floor nude," Abelseth wrote in her statement, which means she was unable to give consent and she was also underage at the time.
Abelseth said Barnes had threatened to seek full custody of their child if she pursued criminal charges against him.
Police Say They Dropped The Ball In The Case
Abelseth's 2015 complaint wasn't assigned to a detective until this year, the court records show. The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office in a statement acknowledged they did not properly investigate those allegations at the time.
"In tracing this case back to the time the initial complaint was filed on July 1, 2015, it was discovered that the report never made it through the proper channels within the department to be assigned for investigation," reads the statement. "Therefore, our department absolutely dropped the ball, and we simply must own our mistake. This is a mistake, however, that simply has never been a problem before or since, and we must make sure to keep it that way."