Monday, June 28, 2010

Woman denies sex with troubled boy

Bella Barrera, 36-year-old former employee at the North Platte home for troubled youth, has been arrested and accused of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old boy, resident of the house.

Thirty-three-year-old Bella Barrera pled not guilty to charges of 1st degree sexual assault of a child and child abuse. The North Platte Police Department says Barrera began a sexual relationship with the boy in 2007.

Barrera, a former staff worker of the Salvation Army Quinn Wilcox House who worked the overnight shift, is accused with having sex with a then 13-year-old state ward and resident from March, 2007, to February, 2008.

Barrera was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and false reporting in 2008 after helping the boy escape from the home. She was sentenced to probation for those crimes.

Officials suspected Barrera might have been sexually involved with the boy at the time but he denied it, according to an arrest affidavit.

On April 15, the boy, now 16, admitted to his Health and Human Services social worker that he had, indeed, been involved sexually with Barrera while living at the Wilcox House. He told investigators that he had a single room without a roommate and Barrera would awaken him at night after the other residents were asleep and have intercourse with him. The boy also told the social worker that Barrera had become pregnant as a result of their relationship. The boy said he was the father of Barrera's 23-month-old daughter, the affidavit said. The boy said Barrera warned him not to disclose that he was the child's father, the affidavit said.
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