WhatsNew2Day
Latest News And Breaking Headlines

Woman, 32, who was raped at 16 by 30 year-old-man is ordered to give him full custody of child

A Louisiana mother who was raped by a 30-year-old man at age 16 has been ordered to relinquish custody of their daughter and pay him child support.

Crysta Abelseth’s life changed forever in 2005 after she accepted a ride home from John Barnes, now 46, when her boyfriend decided to leave early dinner, local news channel Hammond WBRZ‘s research team first reported.

“Instead of taking me home, he took me to his house. Once inside, he raped me on the couch he left,” Abelseth, 32, told the outlet.

Overcome by trauma and unsure of what to do, Abelseth led friends and relatives to believe that the pregnancy — a byproduct of the rape — was instead the result of a relationship she was in at the time.

Abelseth welcomed a girl and moved on with her life – until her alleged abuser found out about their then five-year-old daughter in 2010.

Barnes, the owner of a digital branding site, then started a legal battle against Abelseth to gain custody rights.

But despite filing a sexual assault charge against Barnes in 2015 and fighting fiercely to bring her child into her custody, Abelseth’s custody rights were revoked last month over an allegation by Barnes that she bought their daughter a cell phone, it reported. WBRZ.

Judge Jeffrey Cashe’s ruling also forced Abelseth to pay child support to his alleged rapist, in what her lawyers have called an outrageous miscarriage of justice.

Barnes, whose client base includes law enforcement agencies, has not yet been charged with crimes related to the charges filed by Abelseth seven years ago.

Crysta Abelseth's life (pictured) changed forever in 2005 after she accepted a ride home from John Barnes, now 46, when her boyfriend decided to leave dinner early

Crysta Abelseth’s life (pictured) changed forever in 2005 after she accepted a ride home from John Barnes, now 46, when her boyfriend decided to leave dinner early

Abelseth claims Barnes (pictured) raped her and became pregnant as a result of the attack

Abelseth claims Barnes (pictured) raped her and became pregnant as a result of the attack

But despite filing a sexual assault charge against Barnes in 2015 and fighting fiercely to bring her child into her custody, Abelseth's custody rights were revoked last month over a claim by Barnes that she had bought a cell phone for their daughter.

But despite filing a sexual assault charge against Barnes in 2015 and fighting fiercely to bring her child into her custody, Abelseth’s custody rights were revoked last month over a claim by Barnes that she had bought a cell phone for their daughter.

Abelseth met Barnes outside a bar in 2005 when he offered to take her home after her boyfriend decided to leave early, she said.

But what followed were moments of terror as she was allegedly sexually assaulted at his home.

Data obtained by WBRZ shows that a DNA test showed that Barnes was the father of the child. At the time of conception, Barnes and Abelseth were 30 and 16 respectively.

Judge Jeffrey Cashe's ruling also forced Abelseth to pay child support to his alleged rapist, in what her lawyers have called an outrageous miscarriage of justice

Judge Jeffrey Cashe’s ruling also forced Abelseth to pay child support to his alleged rapist, in what her lawyers have called an outrageous miscarriage of justice

Whether or not the sexual encounter was consensual, it would still be classified as legal rape — given the age of consent in Louisiana is 17.

‘Everyone took it’ [the pregnancy] belonged to a friend, and I made them believe that,” Abelseth told WBRZ.

“When my daughter was five years old, he heard about her, and once he found her, he went for custody and wanted to take her from me.”

‘They gave him 50/50 custody despite the fact that [the child] was caused by rape,” she added.

The 32-year-old mother had her daughter’s custody revoked last month and has been forced to pay child support and legal fees to Barnes.

Now Abelseth is fighting to regain custody of her daughter, who is the same age she was when she was allegedly attacked by Barnes.

Speaking to the WBRZ, Abelseth said she has been threatened by Barnes, who is “well connected,” she said.

She added that a sexual assault charge she filed against him with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office has not been thoroughly investigated.

“It was never assigned to a detective and never investigated,” Abelseth claimed.

Barnes is the owner of Gumbeaux Digital, whose clients include Ponchatoula Police, where the company is based.

At the time of conception, Barnes (pictured) and Abelseth were 30 and 16 respectively. Regardless of whether the sexual encounter was consensual, it would classify as legal rape as the age of consent in Louisiana is 17

At the time of conception, Barnes (pictured) and Abelseth were 30 and 16 respectively. Regardless of whether the sexual encounter was consensual, it would classify as legal rape as the age of consent in Louisiana is 17

But despite the investigation still open, according to the Tangipahoa Sheriff's Office, he was given full custody of the child.

But despite the investigation still open, according to the Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office, he was given full custody of the child.

Data obtained by WBRZ shows that a DNA test showed that Barnes was the father of the child

Data obtained by WBRZ shows that a DNA test showed that Barnes was the father of the child

Abelseth said she didn’t think she could file a criminal complaint against Barnes after the day of the assault, only to learn that the statute of limitations would allow her to do so through a trauma therapist.

“I thought if I didn’t do it the next day, I couldn’t help it,” Abelseth told WBRZ.

“I went to a trauma therapist and he said, ‘No, you have 30 years after you turn 18.’

Although Barnes has admitted to being the biological father of his child with Abelseth, he has not been charged in connection with her rape allegations.

He was also not charged with rape.

But despite the investigation still open, according to the Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office, he was given full custody of the child.

“He’s well-connected,” Abelseth claimed.

“He has threatened me several times and said he has connections in the justice system, so I better be careful and he can take her whenever he wants. I didn’t believe him until it happened.’

59076991 10917169 image m 19 1655250827259

“She’s been forced to pay her perpetrator,” said Save Lives campaigner Stacie Triche, who has helped Abelseth navigate the justice system as she tries to regain custody of her child. Forced to pay her rapist alimony and legal fees and relinquish custody of the child who is a product of the rape. It does not make any sense.’

The sheriff’s department told WBRZ that the investigation into Abelseth’s claims was open and ongoing – but has not been moved since 2015.

Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault attorney Sean Cassidy told WBRZ that he had never come across a case like this.

“It seems pretty straightforward that not only has a crime occurred, but that as a result of the crime, this person should not have custody of the child,” he told the outlet.

Stacie Triche, Save Lives advocate, who has helped Abelseth navigate the legal system as she tries to regain custody of her child, echoed the sentiment.

“When I found out she was a rape victim and this rapist could potentially get full custody, I stepped in and said something had to be done about this,” she told WBRZ.

“She’s been forced to pay her killer,” Triche said. Forced to pay her rapist alimony and legal fees and relinquish custody of the child who is a product of the rape. It does not make any sense.’

Abelseth has appealed Judge Cashe’s decision and has a hearing scheduled for July.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More