NO EVIDENCE, NO JURY, NO JUSTICE
THE WRONGFUL CONVICTION OF JEREMY BARNEY
Early in 2004, in Litchfield County, Connecticut, seventeen-year-old Jeremy Barney was charged with sexual assault against the three children of “Family _X_” — two boys, Carson and Jesse, ages thirteen and seven respectively, and Angela, their eight-year-old sister. [1A]
The children’s parents, Jeff and Julie _X_, alleged that Jeremy subjected their children to battery, assaults with weapons, rapes, and various sexual tortures, in addition to raping the family pets, over a period of at least eighteen months, while employed as a babysitter. [1B]
In social service and police interviews, Family _X_ described dozens of bizarre and horrific attacks: the cat and dog were raped with Julie’s dildo; the boys were routinely battered and sodomized; and Angela was raped, sodomized, beaten with a baseball bat, and violently penetrated with Julie’s dildo as well as a wine bottle — in addition to being stabbed on multiple occasions in the hand and chest and having her vagina slashed at different times with a knife and with a shard of glass.
Impossibly, although the crimes were alleged to have occurred during hours when Jeremy babysat, Jeff and Julie told investigators they noticed nothing wrong with their children — or their pets — upon returning home.
School teachers and friends in the _X_ Family’s tiny town of Sharon, CT, also noticed nothing wrong with the children. Jeff and Julie explained this by saying the children managed to cover up their injuries for years, and had stayed silent about the abuses for fear that Jeremy would hurt their parents if they told.
According to all parties involved, prior to the above allegations the Barney and _X_ families were close friends, especially mothers Megan Barney and Julie _X_.
According to documents from social services, on October 19, 2003 — still several days before the above allegations — Julie arrived at Megan’s home with some troubling news. Julie had discovered that her oldest son, 13-year-old Carson, was molesting his little sister, 8-year-old Angela, and Carson had also had sex with Jeremy — all of which had occurred under Julie’s roof.
When Megan and Julie confronted Jeremy — who until that time had kept his homosexuality a secret from family and friends — he told the two mothers that he was “sorry” for having sex with Carson, and was “glad” they’d found out. [1C]
Julie expressed her hope that the two families could “keep this from public exposure,” and was under the impression Megan had “agreed this was OK.” [1D]
Megan, however, who had licenses for both foster care and day care, thought better of it. She believed that she was mandated to make a report to the State, so she telephoned a regional hotline — automatically triggering an investigation.
Unbeknownst to Megan, Julie had many reasons for wanting to keep things secret. As will be discussed in pages to follow, in addition to the incest in Julie’s home, there was more than one neighborhood child having sex under her roof — in Julie’s and Jeff’s bed, in fact — while also availing themselves of her and her husband’s sex toys and pornography.
Four days after Megan’s phone call to the hotline, with the incest and other child sex in the _X_ home now potentially on the State’s radar, Julie placed her own phone call to authorities. Her story had changed drastically, however, and she was no longer looking to keep it secret. According to Julie, all three of her children had spontaneously come forward to disclose years of violent rape and torture at the hands of Megan’s son.
Although he was a minor, with no criminal record, Jeremy was encouraged by detectives to waive his rights, and was interrogated and polygraphed over the course of days without the presence of his family or his attorney. Although Jeremy allegedly “indicated deception” on one polygraph question alone, out of the dozens he’d been asked, detectives declared that the teen had failed the examination. [1E]
Jeremy admitted to detectives that he and Carson had consensual sex on multiple occasions, although they knew that sex between teenagers is a crime in Connecticut. Jeremy denied that he had forcibly raped Carson, and denied ever sexually assaulting Angela or Jesse.
Jeremy spent 1.5 years in jail in Bridgeport, CT, awaiting trial. His working-class family was unable to afford either the $1 million bond on which he was originally held, or the later-reduced bond of $600,000.
CONVICTION & SENTENCING
In June 2005, Jeremy was convicted on six felony counts: three counts of first-degree sexual assault, including the use of force, and three counts of injury and risk of injury to minors. The teenager was sentenced to a term of incarceration longer than he had been alive: 20 years, to be served in maximum-security prison.
For the statutory crime to which he had admitted — engaging in consensual sex with Carson — Jeremy was never charged.
REOPENING THE CASE FILES
Jeremy’s case files were secured by his family and reexamined by independent researchers including pro-bono attorneys, private investigators, a forensic criminal profiler, and an author whose novel about the case, Angela’s Story, is forthcoming in 2017. What these investigations have revealed is not only proof, beyond all doubt, that Jeremy Barney was wrongfully convicted, but also proof of criminal wrongdoing by Jeff and Julie _X_ , and proof of prosecutorial misconduct by the Office of the State’s Attorney.
This website exists to make public these findings, which may be briefly summarized as follows:
- Jeff and Julie lied to social services and perjured themselves in police affidavits throughout the investigation; coached their children to imagine horrific sexual crimes and to present them to authorities as the truth; and both fabricated physical evidence and destroyed physical evidence; all of which was perpetrated with the twin motives of 1) covering up incest and other child sex in their home — activities that might otherwise have resulted in Jeff and Julie being investigated for child neglect and endangerment, among other possible charges — and 2) directing authorities’ attention instead to Jeremy Barney, against whom Jeff and Julie lodged dozens of false felony allegations.
- The prosecution, led by Senior Assistant State’s Attorney James Fletcher, withheld multiple items of exculpatory evidence from the defense. Furthermore, after the prosecution became aware of Carson’s molestations of his sister, as well as Jeff and Julie’s perjured affidavits and evidence tampering, the State’s Attorney pursued the conviction of Jeremy Barney for crimes that never occurred, while overlooking actual abuse and endangerment and, in effect, forcing the _X_ children to live with criminal parents in an incestuous home.
- Jeremy’s attorney, for his part, provided egregiously ineffective counsel throughout every stage of the investigation and adjudication of his client’s case.
We do not make these claims lightly. Reexamining a wrongful case that was built on perjury and prosecutorial misconduct, and reexamining such a case at a time in the U.S. when seemingly any uncorroborated allegation can be asserted as fact and make the rounds of social media, our foremost concern, here, is supporting our every claim with evidence, and citing our sources. Readers who find mistakes, or who have questions, or who have information to pass along, are encouraged to contact us.