By Kevin Gallagher | | June 16, 2022

A crime & corruption watchdog group calls for review of a Tangipahoa Parish case wherein a rape victim was ordered to pay child support to her alleged attacker. Metropolitan Crime Commission director Rafael Goyeneche says the victim was just 16 when the attack occurred, and the man she accuses found out she’d had a child five years later.

“…and he went to court to petition for joint custody and visitation rights. and there was a DNA test produced that proved his paternity” says Goyeneche.

Crysta Abelseth, who is now 32, maintains the sexual contact with John Barnes sixteen years ago was not consensual. Barnes discovered he had a child with Abelseth in 2011, and a DNA test confirmed he was the father. Goyeneche says she did lodge a complaint, albeit years after the alleged crime.

“The biological mother filed a complaint with a law enforcement agency in Tangipahoa Parish, and that matter is still pending. It hasn’t been investigated.”

This year, Tangipahoa Parish Judge Jeff Cashe gave Barnes full custody of the now-16-year-old daughter and ordered Abelseth to pay him child support. Those court records are sealed. Goyeneche says Barnes could be guilty of rape, but – if he is the confirmed father of a child by a then-16-year-old – he should be investigated at least for Canal Knowledge of a Juvenile; not rewarded with child support.

“I’ve referred the matter to another law enforcement agency; for them to look to see if the allegations have merit…and if so, and arrest and prosecution should take place.

WBRZ TV investigative Chris Nakamoto broke this story. For more details, visit “”