A rural Arkansas prosecutor whose uncle is among the state’s most dangerous pedophiles has been charged with “actively working to protect him.”
Jana Bradford, 54, married with two children, is currently an attorney for the 9th Western Judicial District of Arkansas.
Her uncle, Barry Walker, 59, was arrested in June 2022 after hundreds of homemade videos of him raping girls between the ages of 2 and 14 were found at his home in Glenwood, Arkansas.
Walker, a former Air Force flight surgeon, pleaded guilty to abusing at least 31 girls beginning in 1997 and, in October 2022, was sentenced to multiple life sentences.
His girlfriend, brother and another niece have been criminally charged with covering it up, to varying degrees. All live in the small town of 2,200 people that Bradford represents as prosecutor.
Now the spotlight is on Bradford, who for 20 years sought to help his uncle with legal troubles after his first child sex abuse conviction in 2000 and tried to clear his name.
Jana Bradford worked for 20 years to clear her uncle’s name and is now mentioned in a civil lawsuit alleging she and other relatives shielded him, to protect his campaign for local prosecutor.
Barry Walker has been described as one of the worst pedophiles Arkansas has ever known after hundreds of homemade videos of him raping girls between the ages of 2 and 14 were found in his Glenwood, Arkansas home .
In 2004, Bradford helped his uncle seek a pardon. It was refused
A civil lawsuit has been filed alleging a cover-up orchestrated by Walker’s “inner circle”, including Bradford.
“You don’t rape so many girls so many times in a small town in Arkansas unless someone gets in your way,” said David Carter, a Texarkana attorney representing at least 14 of the victims or their parents and guardians. .
The case claims Walker’s actions were covered up by relatives to protect Bradford’s campaign to become a prosecutor.
She was elected in May 2022 – 16 days before her uncle’s home was finally raided.
Bradford strongly denied doing anything to protect her uncle and insisted she was unaware he had sexually abused children after his first conviction.
“Ms. Bradford denies in the strongest possible terms that she knew Barry Walker abused children or that she did anything to cover up his depraved behavior,” her attorney, Erin Casinelli, said.
“Given that Ms Bradford was not even aware of Barry Walker’s ongoing criminal acts, she certainly cannot be held responsible for his actions and the damage he caused.”
Cassinelli said all of the allegations in the trial about Bradford are “absolutely false” and have not been verified or supported by factual evidence.
Bradford has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
The special prosecutor overseeing the case of Walker and those connected to him, who was appointed in part because of Bradford’s conflicts of interest, said a criminal investigation into “secondary targets” was still ongoing.
Walker was convicted in 2000 of two counts of child sex abuse – attacking an eight-year-old girl in the library of her family home, when Walker and his then-wife were invited to the house to dinner.
He was sentenced to five years in prison and his wife divorced him.
Walker served less than a year of his sentence and was granted early parole for good behavior.
In 2004, Bradford helped him seek a pardon from Governor Mike Huckabee, arguing that he wanted to be allowed to practice medicine again. Huckabee refused.
As a condition of his release, Walker – who remained a convicted sex offender – was ordered to be accompanied at all times when children were present.
Yet, according to the lawsuit, he blatantly flouted the laws – and Bradford and others turned a blind eye.
The costume, obtained by BNC Newsclaims that she and other family members regularly “saw prepubescent women ride Barry’s truck around Glenwood, ride Barry at the fairgrounds, hang out at Barry’s house, and regularly sleep over,” but they did nothing to intervene.
Walker is seen in October 2022, sentenced to 39 life sentences without the possibility of parole
Bradford wrote a letter in 2014 on Walker’s behalf disputing allegations that he abused a four-year-old girl. The charges were dropped
During weekly family gatherings, according to the lawsuit, Bradford and at least two of Walker’s siblings discussed “it was weird that Barry always had young girls around him,” despite being a delinquent. recorded sex.
He faced multiple charges, yet remained free.
In 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2014 he was charged with child abuse, according to police and the Sex Offender Assessment Report.
In 2014, after a four-year-old girl accused him of sexually abusing her, Walker was arrested and jailed.
Bradford and other family members posted his $25,000 bond, hired an attorney for him, paid his employees and kept his construction business going, the lawsuit says.
Bradford, as a private attorney, wrote a letter to the prosecutor pleading his case.
The charges were dropped.
In 2018, Bradford wrote to ask that his uncle be removed from the sex offender register.
Cassinelli, his attorney, said the letters were sent “in his capacity as a private attorney” and “involved routine matters handled by attorneys for clients in jurisdictions across the country.”
Bradford in 2018 tried to have his uncle removed from the sex offender register
“There is nothing to suggest that she thus became responsible for the actions of another person,” he added.
Carter, the attorney representing the victims in the civil suit, alleges that Bradford knew of various reports of sexual abuse against his uncle over the years.
“She was actively working to protect her uncle from these allegations even as an assistant district attorney,” he said.
In the case, he notes that Bradford wrote in his 2018 letter that his uncle was not dangerous.
The lawsuit says the line “may well be the most false assertion ever made on a legal record in the state of Arkansas.”