The Times West Virginian

Local News

December 4, 2012

Ex-coach charged with sexual abuse

Amanda Jo Barker arrested for second time by State Police

FAIRMONT — Amanda Jo Barker, former freshman cheerleading coach at North Marion High School, was arrested Monday for the second time by West Virginia State Police on three counts of sexual abuse by a person in trust of a child and one count of soliciting a minor via computer.

The arrest came after interviews that Sgt. Adam Scott, with the Crimes Against Children Unit of the West Virginia State Police, had conducted with three NMHS students on Nov. 14.

According to the criminal complaints filed in Marion County Magistrate Court on Monday, a 17-year-old male student told Scott he and his family were close friends with Barker and her husband. The student said he had stayed at their home at least 10-15 times to “play video games and/or watch TV.”

He told Scott that Barker allegedly masturbated him by touching his penis on two occasions in her home and performing oral sex on him on one other occasion. He said he may have been around 16 at the time and the incidents happened in the winter to spring of 2012.

Barker’s husband was allegedly asleep in the same room when she was performing oral sex on him, the student said. He was concerned the husband would wake up, but Barker allegedly told him “not to worry” because her husband “would not care.”

He also told Scott that the initial victim in the case (for which Barker was arrested in October) was in another room of the house the same night the oral sex was performed. The victim told Scott that Barker allegedly said she would “do anything” with him “at any time.”

Also on Nov. 14, Scott interviewed a 16-year-old male student who told him that during the spring and summer of 2012, Barker would constantly send him text messages asking him to come to her house.

She allegedly asked to meet him in the parking lot of a local grocery store, where he got into her car and she performed oral sex on him. He told Scott she continued to text him that he could come over to her house when her husband was gone so they could “cuddle or even more.” She had his cell number because he was involved with soccer, and her husband was a soccer coach.

He also told Scott that Barker allegedly would text him, asking him to send her pictures of his penis, but he didn’t. He told Scott she sent him digital photographs of her bare breasts three to four times. He also said she said if her husband found out, he would not care.

Also on Nov. 14, Scott talked with a third male student who said he “was aware of the accused sending nude pictures of herself” to one of the previous victims via cellphone.

According to state code, cellphones and other digital media devices fall under the definition of a computer.

Barker posted $100,000 bond. She appeared Monday before Magistrate Rebecca Tate.

If found guilty, Barker faces a prison sentence of 10-20 years, a fine of $500 to $5,000, or both, for each count of sexual abuse.

Soliciting a minor via computer carries a possible sentence of a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment of two to 10 years, or both.

On Oct. 23, Barker was arrested on three counts of sexual abuse by a person in a position of trust in a case involving a third male student. The incidents allegedly had taken place at Barker’s house in Mannington during the winter last school year.

He said he was at her house “all the time” because he is good friends with her husband, who was his soccer coach, and that his family is good friends with the Barkers.

For that charge, she waived her right to a preliminary hearing in Marion County Magistrate Court on Nov. 13.

On Nov. 5, the Marion County Board of Education unanimously voted for her immediate termination. Previously, she had been suspended without pay.

Individuals with any information on this case are asked to contact Sgt. Adam Scott with the Crimes Against Children Unit at 304-367-2701.

Email Debra Minor Wilson at dwilson@timeswv.com.

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