Barbara Brooks is a former foster parent and babysitter in Cincinnati, Ohio who has pleaded guilty to raping four children who were in her care and has been sentenced to a prison term. The plea deal comes months after an earlier mistrial.
The 64-year-old Barbara Brooks was not only a babysitter, she was also formerly a licensed foster parent for Hamilton County Job and Family Services. The southwestern Ohio county encompasses the Cincinnati metro area. However, the none of the children she was accused of, and later admitted to abusing sexually were under her foster care. Instead they were children for whom she was babysitter.
She was originally arrested in 2012 as the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. She was arrested at her home in Colerain Township. However at the time that the alleged crimes were committed she lived in Mount Healthy and Springfield Townships.
At that time she was charged with the sexual abuse of four children — three girls and a boy. Their ages at the time ranged between 7 and 16. The abuse was alleged to have taken place between January 2000 and February 2007. At the time, she pleaded not guilty to a total of 15 rape charges in addition to three counts of gross sexual imposition.
The Cincinnati Enquirer goes on to quote Cincinnati Police Detective Dana Jones who said in court this was the worst case she had seen in 17 years. In court she is reported as saying, in part, “Although we have several victims on paper, following her arrest the case grew and was much bigger.”
It’s further reported that she said in court “There were many people who asked me to stand here today and speak on their behalf who were also victimized who, for whatever reason, cannot speak. Some of the victims consider Mrs. Brooks family, so for them the trauma was deeper than the act …The trauma that they suffered is unlike anything I have ever seen.”
In the plea deal arrangement, Brooks pleaded guilty to four of the rape charges. In court, she was sentenced to 7 years in prison, minus the 807 days which she had spent in jail since her arrest. Additionally, she must serve five years probation upon release and register every 90 days as a Tier III sex offender for the rest of her life. Tier III is the highest level.
As WLWT News 5 reports, the plea deal and the sentencing come in the aftermath of her November 2013 trial which ended in a mistrial because her attorney admitted he had not spoken to most of Brooks’ family and and also admitted to not having prepared properly for the trial.
While it has taken a while for the system to work, at least victims and family members and the community at large may find some comfort in knowing that justice was served. At last, the egregious case that made news far beyond Ohio has a resolution.