Early in 2004, in Sharon, Connecticut, seventeen-year-old Jeremy Barney was arraigned on charges that he had beaten, raped, sodomized, and tortured the three children of a neighborhood family.
Aside from the statements of the accusing family, however, no evidence indicated that Jeremy committed the crimes alleged. In fact, no evidence indicated that these events had even occurred. Despite allegations of dozens of rapes in every room the children’s home, police recovered no DNA or trace evidence from the crime scene. According to the State’s own forensic medical exams, the children evinced no injuries consistent with the claims of years of violence.
Later evidence showed the parents of the alleged victims were attempting to cover up incest in their home. Facing social-service and police investigation of the incest, the parents did the unthinkable: They concocted a story about how all three of their children had been raped by a neighbor. Not only did the parents lie in their affidavits to police, they also both fabricated and destroyed evidence during the course of the investigation.
Even after the prosecution realized they had been lied to and manipulated, however, they pushed forward with a wrongful case, choosing to save their reputations rather than the futures of Jeremy Barney and the _X_ children.
On 10 June 2005, the court proceedings lasted roughly an hour, presided over by a judge who would later leave his post in scandal. Jeremy was sentenced to maximum-security prison for twenty years. The _X_ children were left to grow up in an incestuous home under the watch of their criminal parents.
In the Spring of 2016, Jeremy’s wrongful conviction was taken in hand by attorneys for the Connecticut Innocence Project. A true-crime novel about the case, Angela’s Story, is forthcoming from Tarpaulin Sky Press. Updates will be added to this site as available.