The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 23, 2013

Man sentenced for sex abuse

By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer

---- — CLINTON — A Clinton County District Court judge sentenced a man to as much as 10 years for having sex with a mentally disabled 14-year-old female.

“Frankly it’s hard to imagine a more reprehensible crime,” Judge John Telleen said Thursday.

John Barr, 52, of DeWitt, pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse, a class C felony. Charges of criminal transmission of human immunodeficiency virus and another count of third-degree sexual abuse were dismissed.

As a forceable felony, the charge required incarceration. However, Telleen said he would have ordered the prison sentence even if it was not mandatory.

The charges relate to a Sept. 26, 2011, incident in Barr’s home. According to court documents, the victim, 14-year-old female — with the mental age of 5 — and her father spent the night at Barr’s residence. The next morning, her father found her in bed with Barr.

“I don’t understand exactly what happened,” said Barr, in court Thursday. He added that he has known this girl for years and would never have done this to her in his right mind.

The affidavit continues that after Barr left, the girl began giggling and told her father that Barr said “don’t tell your daddy what happened”. She indicated that the defendant touched her and had intercourse with her, according to the affidavit.

A Division of Criminal Investigation lab report received on Nov. 7, 2011, showed that a male DNA profile was found on the victim’s underwear and on sexual assault kit swabs, according to court records. DNA samples taken from Barr were found to match the profile from the kit, according to the affidavit.

In a March 13, 2012 interview, Barr told DeWitt polices that he is HIV positive, but denied any sexual contact with the victim at that time.

Telleen also fined Barr $1,000. He will be under parole supervision for life and must give a DNA sample.

Friends and family in the courtroom exchanged tearful goodbyes with Barr before he was taken away from the courthouse.