08/16/13 Charles Barber, 56 of Walkerton, was sentenced Thursday by Judge Robert O. Bowen to fifteen years on a charge of Child Molesting as a Class B felony, enhanced by an additional ten years of imprisonment as an habitual offender for a total prison sentence of 25 years. Bowen approved an agreement reached between Chief Deputy Prosecutor Nelson Chipman and defense counsel Joseph P. Simanski.
It was alleged in the probable cause affidavit Barber was having sexual relations with a 14 year old girl that resulted in her pregnancy. It was further alleged that in August of 2012 Marshall County Police Detective Neal Wallace, along with Department of Family and Children caseworker Allison Beachy visited the home of the victim and after inquiry, was given a copy of a urine test showing the alleged victim was not pregnant.
Later investigation however revealed that Barber had supplied the urine for the pregnancy test. Barber also instructed the victim to go to an area hospital outside of Marshall County and give a false age, a false residence and a false itinerary on how she arrived at the hospital. In October of 2012 the victim delivered a full term, still born baby.
According to the affidavit, Barber was a registered sex offender having been convicted of child molesting in St. Joseph County, IN in 1993 and sexual battery in Tennessee in 2005. As a result of the information acquired, Detective Duane Culp and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Nelson Chipman secured tissue samples from the still born infant and from the alleged victim for purposes of DNA analysis. An oral swab was also obtained from Barber. The evidence revealed beyond a doubt Charles Barber was the father of the still born infant.
Barber was charged with sexual misconduct with a minor, a Class B felony on October 23, 2012. After review of his criminal history, Chipman sought to designate Barber as an Habitual Offender due to his numerous prior felony convictions beginning when he was 18 years of age to the present. Included in his history were convictions for felony battery, forgery, possession of stolen property, burglary, child molesting, and sexual battery in Tennessee. Chipman noted that Barber has been in and out of prison his entire adult life, “virtually a life sentence on the installment plan.”
“We are willing to accommodate him, thus we increased the sentence available on the sexual misconduct charge with the enhancement as a Habitual Offender. Fifteen years with an additional ten years making 25 years of incarceration for Mr. Barber,” Chipman stated.