Home Breaking News Amity man sentenced to 150 years for rape

Amity man sentenced to 150 years for rape

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By John Balch

News-Leader staff

A Pike County jury took just under hour to return with a guilty verdict and even less time to decide to sentence an Amity man to 150 years in the state prison for the rape of a young girl.

The trial of Josh M. Barrett, 41, was held April 19-20 in the courtroom of the Pike County Judicial and Detention Center.

He was charged with six counts of rape, which prosecutors said first began when the victim was kindergarten age and continued until she was between the age of eight and 12.

Barrett was originally charged with one count of rape May 2017 but the counts were amended to six on Jan. 23, 2018.

The all-white jury, which consisted of six females and six males, deliberated the evidence for less than an hour and returned with a guilty verdict on all six counts. Barrett was sentenced to 25 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections on each count with the sentencing to run consecutively for a 150-year total.

Barrett was found guilty of engaging in sexual relations “by forcible compulsion” with a female less than 14 years of age during a time period 2005 to 2013.

Barrett was 27-years-old at the time of the first five violations while the last count lists him as being 36 at the time of the violation.

In four of the six counts, the offenses are listed as “sexual intercourse” while in the other two counts the offenses are listed “deviate sexual activity,” during which the victim was blindfolded, according to file information.

After his arrest in 2017, Barrett made a statement to investigators that he was on drugs during the 2005 to 2013 time period and had no recollections of the allegations.

Barrett was represented by attorney John Yeargan, Jr.

The case was heard by Ninth West Judicial Circuit Judge Tom Cooper and prosecuted by deputy prosecutors Jana Bradford and Erin Hunter. The prosecution called seven witnesses over the two-day trial and the defense called six, which included Barrett.

Two state witnesses testified about two lie-detector tests administered to Barrett. One test was stopped due to “counter measures” attempted by Barrett by biting his tongue and was deemed inadmissible. Barrett failed the other test.

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