Jennifer Barnes Adopted a Child -- Then Shoved Feces in His Mouth, Stuck Toothbrush in Anus. CPS Drops Ball Again?

Date: 2011-09-09

By James King

Jennifer Barnes, 39, of Gilbert, adopted a little boy. She then allegedly committed some of the most depraved acts of child abuse we've ever heard of. They involve feces, a toothbrush, and the boy's anus.

The kicker: as has been the case in several recent Valley child abuse cases, Child Protective Services has a file on Barnes -- yet, her adopted 10-year-old son remained in her custody until her arrest yesterday afternoon.

What you're about to read is not for the squeamish. If you're easily offended, go read the watered-down version of this tragic tale that will likely appear on the Arizona Republic website later today.

According to court records obtained by New Times, the 10-year-old victim spoke to a forensic interviewer (it's unclear why the boy spoke to the investigator. A CPS spokesman tells New Times he has no information about the case. He says he'll let us know when he finds out more) recently and disclosed the abuse he says he suffered at the hands of Barnes between May of 2010 and August 22, of this year.

The boy told the interviewer how Barnes would tie him up and shove dog feces in his mouth. She would then put tape over his mouth so he wouldn't be able to spit it out.

In addition to the feces, the boy told the interviewer Barnes would also burn his penis with a lighter and forcibly shove his own toothbrush into his anus.

In other instances, the boy told the interviewer, Barnes burned his penis with a curling iron before tying a necklace around it, which caused the boy's penis to bleed.

Following the interview, the boy was forensically examined by a doctor. During the examination, the doctor discovered scars on his penis that were "consistent with healed burns." The doctor found other scars on the boy's anus consistent with the abuse the boy described to the interviewer.

Barnes was interviewed by a Gilbert detective who notes that she provided inconsistent information, although, she denied the abuse.

Court records indicate that CPS has a file on Barnes and has investigated potential abuse.

Again, CPS spokesman Steve Meissner tells New Times he has no information about the circumstances surrounding those investigations, or why the boy was allowed to remain in the home. He's going to get back to us when he has more information -- check back for details.

Barnes was booked on one count each of child abuse and sexual conduct with a minor. Her next court date is scheduled for September 15.

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Solution to Child Abuse

This would save a lot of children if any politician has the guts to do
it.

Do away with term CHILD ABUSE. Place all acts of intentional harm to a child
under the FEDERAL Laws regarding Terrorists.

These perps are NOT "abusers" to the children, the child victim knows nothing
about the meaning of that term. The child DOES KNOW that the person(s) harming
him/her are TERRORIZING them, and the child would understand the term TERRORIST
being applied to the culprit.

Asking Pound to hang TERRORIST label around the neck of the perp. Can you
initiate this? If not, WHY not? Tell us please.

some practical objections

While I have complete sympathy for the suggestion made, I don't think it is that good an idea.

Anti-terrorism laws are very intrusive. Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 allows for indefinite detention without trial of terrorism suspects.

While some child abuse cases are entirely cut and dry and deserving the maximum penalties, there are also cases of false allegations (sometimes made by children themselves, but in several instances by spouses, in-laws or by overzealous social workers).

Everyone accused of a crime deserves a fair trial and only when guilt is established beyond reasonable doubt can someone be punished.

Such standard of evidence is not required when someone is suspected of terrorism. The President of the United States has the authority to have someone detained indefinitely on nothing more than the suspicion of terrorism.

Under the Patriot Act, the Federal government has also far reaching surveillance procedures, which include wire-tapping, intercepting electronic communication, seizure of voice mail messages etc.

Highly controversial, these measures are somewhat understandable in the aftermath of 9/11, but expanding such authorities to include child abuse would be a really bad idea.

On an even more practical level. Child abuse is mostly a state issue, not a Federal one. Neither national security, nor interstate-commerce clauses can be applied to lift child abuse to the Federal level. There are exception where Federal law does apply, such as: child abductions, domestic and international parental kidnappings, sexual exploitation of children, interstate transportation of obscene material, online child pornography, physical/sexual abuse of a child on a government reservation, National Sex Offender Registry matters and violations of the Child Support Recovery Act.

Personally, I think a far better idea is to find ways to prevent child abuse. It is well known that child abuse is correlated to poverty and community violence, to stress and financial problems. These are factors society has some influence on. A rich country doesn't need to have high levels of poverty. In a country where productivity is really high, people shouldn't necessarily have to work 60 hours/week to simply make ends meet. A little more job-stability would reduce enormous levels of stress. Reasonable maternity/paternity leave measures can make people a lot less overwhelmed taking care of children.

There is much that still can be done to reduce levels of child abuse, unfortunately those measures are way outside modern-day poilitical discourse. It is much more likely that policies will be implemented that negatively impact child abuse figures, than measures that will help decrease those figures.

The only measure that can be achieved in modern-day political climate is enforce stiffer penalties for child abuse. With an ever increasing demand for prisoners, there are certainly politicians brave enough to demand more punitive measures. It won't necessarily help prevent child abuse, but at least some level of retribution is achieved.

Size matters

While I can totally understand and appreciate the rules and regualations related to law, I also can relate to the need to relay a sense of immediate urgency to word-meaning.

Think about it... you're 10 years old... you're in foster care or already adopted.  Now imagine the following:

the 10-year-old victim spoke to a forensic interviewer (it's unclear why the boy spoke to the investigator. A CPS spokesman tells New Times he has no information about the case. He says he'll let us know when he finds out more) recently and disclosed the abuse he says he suffered at the hands of Barnes between May of 2010 and August 22, of this year.

The boy told the interviewer how Barnes would tie him up and shove dog feces in his mouth. She would then put tape over his mouth so he wouldn't be able to spit it out.

In addition to the feces, the boy told the interviewer Barnes would also burn his penis with a lighter and forcibly shove his own toothbrush into his anus.

In other instances, the boy told the interviewer, Barnes burned his penis with a curling iron before tying a necklace around it, which caused the boy's penis to bleed.

Following the interview, the boy was forensically examined by a doctor. During the examination, the doctor discovered scars on his penis that were "consistent with healed burns." The doctor found other scars on the boy's anus consistent with the abuse the boy described to the interviewer.

Barnes was interviewed by a Gilbert detective who notes that she provided inconsistent information, although, she denied the abuse.

To this day, I consider the worst of my abusers a terrorist, but because that person did not abuse on an enormous scale, that person has been and continues to be deemed "safe".

In my mind, the worst of my abusers was and remains a terrorist... but all I am is one (insignifcant?) human being.  What is my word?

 

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