Custody battle over baby of rape sufferer underway in Amite

A woman is fighting for custody of her daughter after the woman says the teen’s father raped and impregnated her with she was 16 and he was 30.

AMITE CITY, La. — A court hearing was underway Friday where an Amite woman was fighting for custody of her daughter. The woman says the teen’s father raped and impregnated her when she was 16-years-old and he was 30.

Crysta Abelseth asked for full custody of her 15 year old daughter. She said her child was conceived by a rape that happened 15 years ago, when she was only 16-years-old and was intoxicated.

DNA shows that John Barnes is the father and he was 30-years-old at the time of the illegal sex act.

Throughout the years, both the mother and the father have had joint custody, but most recently the father has had custody. Right now, an independent couple has custody of the teenager.

In court Friday, there was back and forth about the night of the alleged rape. But the most tense disagreements were about whether the mother had said prior to the hearing that she would not cooperate in the criminal sexual assault investigation against the father if she got sole custody.

The mother’s attorney says that the Louisiana law is clear.

“This is a math problem. Felony criminal knowledge of a juvenile is just the age difference of the parties. Consent is not an issue. Consent’s not to an element of the crime. Knowledge of the victims age is not an element of the crime. It’s how old was the adult, how old was the child, and how many years different was there at the time of the sexual act. periods.”

In testimony, a witness said that the relationship appeared to be consensual, even though the law at the time said she could not consent.

Abelseth said that her daughter tested that she has experienced abuse from her father.

WWL-TV was not allowed in the courtroom during that testimony.

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