By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – A Lawrenceburg man is accused of Child Molesting.
James Barnes, 49, is accused of groping his daughter's 13-year-old friend last May at his home on Elm Street, according to a court affidavit filed August 6.
The victim was at Barnes’ home on Elm Street in the early morning hours of May 26 staying the night with Barnes’ daughter.
As the three were watching a movie, Barnes’ daughter fell asleep. That’s when the victim alleges that Barnes put his arm around the victim and groped her breast for about 30 minutes. At the end of the movie, the alleged touching ended and Barnes went off to bed.
Immediately following the incident, the alleged victim called her mother who then contacted Lawrenceburg Police. The victim was taken to the Lawrenceburg Police Department for an interview. Her story remained consistent during a second interview at the Southeast Indiana Child Advocacy Center in Dillsboro on June 7.
When questioned by detectives also on June 7, Barnes only admitted to putting his arm around the teen and caressing her chest above her breasts and below her neck. He stated he in no way touched the alleged victim in a sexual manner.
Barnes told the detective that he would have to consult a lawyer before submitting to a polygraph examination.
Barnes was formally charged August 6. He pleaded not guilty and was released from jail in Dearborn County after posting a $1,505 bond on August 16.
A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, October 9 in Dearborn Circuit Court.
According to WLWT-TV, Barnes is a volunteer firefighter with the Lawrenceburg Fire Department. Fire Chief Johnny Tremain said Barnes is currently on leave from the department.