/  06.15.2022

A Louisiana woman named Crysta Abelseth has been ordered to pay child support to a man twice her age who she was reportedly raped by at the age of 16. Her alleged abuser has also been awarded full custody.

In 2005, the now 32-year-old woman met John Barnes after a night out at a local restaurant with friends in the City of Hammond. He offered to give her a ride home.

“Instead of bringing me home, he brought me to his house. Once inside, he raped me on his living room couch,” she said to Ponchatoula news station WBRZ 2, an ABC affiliate.

“Everyone assumed it (the pregnancy) was from a boyfriend, and I let them believe that,” the woman added.

After delivering a healthy baby girl, sources say Barnes learned about the delivery sometime around 2011.

“When my daughter was 5 years old, he found out about her, and once he found out about her, he pursued custody and wanted to take her away from me,” she said. “They granted him 50/50 custody despite the fact that [the child] was caused by rape.”

A court-ordered DNA test confirmed with 99.97 percent accuracy that the child is Barnes’.

Because the child’s father was 30 at the time of conception and Abelseth was only 16, the sexual act was illegal.

In July 2015, Abelseth pressed charges with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office for simple rape. When asked why she did not file sooner, she stated that she did not know the law at the time.

“I thought if I didn’t do it the next day, there was nothing I could do about it,” she said. “I went to a trauma counselor, and he said, ‘No, you have 30 years after you turn 18.'”

The woman claims that once the report was filed in 2015, nothing was ever done. The case remains open. This year, he was awarded full custody.

According to WBRZ’s Investigative Unit, Barnes allegedly owns a local web company called Gumbeaux Digital Branding. The website shows Ponchatoula Police as a client.

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