(Warning: This story contains disturbing details about alleged sexual assault against a child.)
John William Barker Jr., 25, of Friday Harbor, is charged with two counts of rape of a child in the first degree and one count of assault of a child in the second degree. Both charges are classified as class A felonies and Barker could face a fine of up to $50,000, up to life in prison, or both.
Bail is set at $50,000 and an arraignment is scheduled for June 3 at San Juan County Superior Court. Barker was given a no contact order to the child’s mother and he is prohibited from possessing a firearm.
On May 23, a 20-month-old child was brought by his mother to Peace Island Medical Center’s emergency room in Friday Harbor. Due to the severity of his injuries, the child was referred to a higher level of care. At Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center a doctor made a statement to a San Juan County Sheriff’s detective that the child likely suffered from physical and sexual abuse.
The mother of the toddler told the detective that Barker was babysitting her son on May 21. When she returned home from work she found a bruise on the baby’s abdomen. According to the detective’s report, the next day she noticed a bruise forming over the child’s eye. She told the detective that Barker claimed to not know the origin of the injuries. The following morning, when the mother changed her son’s diapers, she told the detective that she found bruises on his neck, back, thighs, stomach and signs of a sexual assault. The detective took photographs that corresponded with her report. He also found scratches on the victim.
On May 25, Barker, while being interviewed by the detective, stated that while babysitting he had become “increasingly agitated and frustrated” that the child was not listening. He described yelling, spanking the child and grabbing him by the head and “pushing him back and forth.” Barker told the detective that the other bruises were caused by pushing and grabbing the victim. According to the officer’s probable cause report, Barker eventually made a statement that day that he committed sexual acts against the toddler, but denied engaging in sexual intercourse.
Barker’s criminal history includes contempt of court in 2009 in Sterling, Colo.