'It's a lie': John Barnes says Crysta Abelseth had a fake ID as he DENIES all allegations
This article contains information about sexual assault that could be traumatic for some readers. Discretion is advised.
HAMMOND, LOUISIANA: John Barnes, now 46, who is accused of raping, Crysta Abelsleth, now 32, denied all the charges of raping Abelsleth when she was 16. He also insisted that his prime concern is to protect their 16-year-old daughter, who was allegedly conceived after the sexual assault. Abelseth told Fox News Digital that John Barnes, then 30, forced himself on her in 2005 when she was 16 after a night out with friends at a bar in Hammond, Louisiana— and impregnated her. Whereas, Barnes, who now owns tech company Gumbeaux Digital Branding denied Abelsleth's statement and said, "It's a lie. She was in a bar with a fake ID, telling everyone she was a college student. "I had no idea she was 16, and I didn’t rape her. That is absolutely, unequivocally false", he added.
After years of a custody battle between Barnes and Abelsleth, the court was informed of a shocking turn of events in February when Abelseth accused Barnes of also drugging and raping their teen daughter. On February 25, Abesleth in court documents accused Barnes of sexually abusing their daughter. "Minor child contacted me (Abesleth) on February 23, 2022, with the suspicion that her father had drugged and sexually assaulted her two nights in a row,' the court documents state. Abelseth stated that the Children's Hospital of New Orleans confirmed "evidence of forced entry congruent with sexual assault".
"I suspect drugs were used by him to sedate me as I was unable to move while he raped me," said Abesleth, before adding in her statement, "Now it is alleged that he has committed the same heinous crime on our 15-year-old daughter." On March 18, the allegations were dismissed by the court, which found that "medical evidence does not support allegations in the petition".
Weeks later, Abelseth said that Tangipahoa Parish Family Judge Jeffrey Cache, of the 21st Judicial District Court, handed temporary sole custody to Barnes. This is the first time that Cache says Abelseth mentioned that Barnes had raped her since the custody proceedings began in 2011. Barnes said he was devastated by the accusations. "I did not see or speak to my daughter for a month," he recalled. A hearing officer ruled on March 18 that "all criminal charges are not being accepted — medical evidence does not support allegations in the petition."
Abelsleth also claimed that Barnes was never charged because he is a "well-connected" man and that he was able to corrupt the legal system and commit the ultimate injustice. Whereas, Barnes denied all the charges made by Abelsleth, including sexually assaulting their daughter. "All I have been trying to do is protect my daughter," Barnes told Fox News Digital. "There is no way in hell I have influenced seven very high-level organizations that are geared toward protecting children’s rights and safety into sweeping her claims of rape and child abuse under the rug."
In response to Abelsleth's accusations, the judge on the case reopened the court documents on Wednesday, June 15. According to the recently unsealed court documents, Abelseth first petitioned for paternity in 2011 — asking for DNA samples from both Barnes and the then-incarcerated man who had signed the birth certificate, James Threeton, according to a Fox News Digital. Barnes was proved as the real father which got him and Abelsleth 50/50 custody. “Ms. Byrd-Abelseth requested Mr. Barnes be named as the father of the minor child and consistently consented to shared custody since the onset of the case,” wrote Tangipahoa Parish Family Judge Cache, who recently gave Barnes temporary custody of the child.
Barnes told Fox Digital that he grew frustrated that Abelseth continued to encourage a relationship between ex-con Threeton and the child, taking the girl to see him in prison. "She was undermining my relationship with my daughter, teaching my daughter that she has two dads," Barnes said. A judge later ruled that the child could have no contact with Threeton. He further accused Abelsleth of violating their custody agreement for allowing different men to sleep over at her home in presence of their daughter. "Her mother goes through men like a revolving door," Barnes said. "Men were coming in and out of my child’s life. She had three husbands in six years and it wasn’t healthy."
In June 2012, Abelseth sued for child support and a judge ruled that Barnes would pay her $450 a month. And, in May 2015, Barnes filed a petition for sole custody of their daughter, accusing Abelseth of continuing to foster a relationship between her daughter and Threeton and having men stay overnight at the home when the daughter was present. The same year, on July 1, 2015, Abelseth filed a police report for the first time, alleging that Barnes had raped her, according to a document obtained by WBRZ.
Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards released a statement Friday, June 17, saying that it had turned over the case to the Office of District Attorney Scott Perrilloux, of the 21st Judicial District in Louisiana. Abelseth did not follow up on her criminal complaint until April 2022, and a team of investigators was then assigned, but given "the complex nature of their findings, the case was turned over to the district attorney’s office, which will decide whether to pursue charges," the statement says.
In December 2020, Barnes again filed for full custody, accusing Abelseth of allowing their daughter, then 14, to "make out" with her 17-year-old boyfriend in her room unsupervised. He also accused Abelseth of providing their daughter with a second cellphone with unfettered access to social media when she already had one with parental controls that he had given her. Barnes won the custody by accusing Abelseth of buying a cellphone for their 16-year-old daughter, which Barnes said the teenager was using to 'sext' her boyfriend and post sexually explicit TikToks. He also claimed Abelseth made up false accusations of sexual abuse to gain custody and had permitted their child to have sex with an 18-year-old. He wrote in a petition that Abelseth told the child to "make any allegations against Barnes so that he would be arrested."
Abelseth then filed a motion to terminate Barnes' parental rights based on the child allegedly being "conceived through the commission of a felony rape." A hearing is being held on July 15. Barnes told Fox News Digital that he adores his daughter and only wants what is best for her. "She has a very promising future. I want to preserve that and keep her on the right track like any loving parent would want for their child."