Woman forced to pay child support for alleged rapist – after he was awarded full custody of her child!

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

Victims’ lawyers – and decent people in general – are speechless after a judge awarded full custody to a man accused of raping a 16-year-old! Oh, and there’s more… now SHE has to pay HIM child support!

According to reports Krista Abelseth claims she was raped when she was 16 John Barnesa man almost twice her age, in Louisiana in 2005. She says he offered to take her home after a night out with friends at a local bar and recounted WBRZ:

“Instead of taking me home, he took me to his house. Once inside, he raped me on his living room couch.”

The now 32-year-old said she didn’t know Barnes before that night and didn’t tell him his rape resulted in a pregnancy. She added:

“Everyone assumed that [the pregnancy] was from a friend and I let her believe that.

Crysta had a baby girl and raised her in peace — until sometime in 2011, Barnes learned he might have a daughter. She shared:

“When my daughter was five he found out about her and when he found out about her he was seeking custody and wanted to take her away from me. They granted him 50/50 custody anyway [the child] was caused by rape.”

A DNA test proved with 99.97 percent accuracy that Barnes is the father of the now teenager. Abelseth claims the act was not consensual; However, due to the mother’s age at the time of conception, it would be illegal in any case.

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In July 2015, Crysta filed criminal charges against Barnes, detailing everything in the report she filed with the Tangipahoa Township Sheriff’s Office. Explaining how she waited to file the police report because she misunderstood the law, she said:

“I figured if I don’t do it the next day, there’s nothing I can do about it. I went to a trauma counselor and he said, ‘No, you have 30 years after you turn 18.’”

Since then the investigation has been going on. But according to Crysta, the case “was never assigned to a detective and nothing was ever investigated.”

Barnes was awarded custody of the child earlier this year despite the criminal complaint. The dramatic move came after Barnes claimed Abelseth gave her daughter a cellphone. (Seriously? What the hell was that judge thinking?)

Stacie Trichewho works for the non-profit organization save livessaid she was helping the mother navigate a court system that had not been on her side, telling the outlet:

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

To make matters worse, Abelseth said she was ordered to pay Barnes – who in turn is her alleged rapist – for child support. Triche stated:

“She was forced to pay her abuser. Forced to pay her rapist child support and legal fees and relinquish custody of the child who is a product of the rape. That makes no sense.”

Legal experts agree. The outlet spoke to lawyers from the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault (LFASA) who have said they have never seen a case like this. Lawyer Sean Cassidy with LFASA said:

“It seems pretty straightforward that not only did a crime take place, but also that person should not have custody of the child as a result of the crime.”

Admitting that she struggles to maintain her trust in a court system that has seemingly denied her justice for the past 16 years, Abelseth said of her abuser:

“He’s well connected. He has threatened me multiple times and said he has ties to the justice system so I better be careful and he can always take her away. I didn’t believe him until it happened.”

The extent of Barnes’ ties to the justice system is unclear, but he is reportedly the owner of a weaving company Digital branding by Gumbeaux, which lists the Ponchatoula Police as customers on its website. (Ponchatoula is the second largest city in Tangipahoa Municipality.)

Even though Crysta lost the fight, the legal battle isn’t over. She said a hearing to overturn Barnes’ parental rights is planned next month.

click here if you want to help Crysta in your litigation.

[Image via WBRZ]