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.