By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian
The former freshman cheerleading coach charged with three counts of sexual misconduct with a minor was sentenced by Circuit Judge David R. Janes to up to 50 years in prison, which was then modified to home confinement.
Amanda Jo Barker will spend the next year of her life in complete lockdown in her home, unable to leave except to go to treatment as a sexual offender, following Monday’s sentencing.
Barker, 31, of Mannington, was arrested in October and December 2012 on separate counts of sexual abuse by a parent, custodian or guardian for inappropriate sexual relationships with three minor boys.
She pleaded guilty May 15 to two counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian and one count of soliciting a minor via computer, all felony charges. Each count involves a separate, juvenile victim.
The Marion County Board of Education terminated her from her coaching position at North Marion High School in November.
She was characterized, in a presentencing investigation, as a low-risk offender who enjoyed “lots of community support” and was “a model citizen, mother and wife” who engaged in this behavior from low self-esteem brought on by a midlife crisis and doubts of her own desirability.
These “flirtatious situations” served to boost her self-esteem, said Jack Dorsey, a psychological expert. She was unable to control impulse urges or to “compartmentalize the consequences of her actions.” Alternative sentencing would serve her best, he said.