Bellville TX–Nikki Lunbeck says her mother’s boyfriend, Kenneth Barrett, began to molest her when she was seven years old. Barrett, a high school teacher, admitted to having intercourse with Nikki from the age of twelve. Nikki says the rapes began when she was eleven.
Nikki says the molestation started when Barrett began walking in on her when she was bathing. He eventually forced himself on her, and made her do things she did not want to do. Barrett then told her to keep it a secret.
Typical of perpetrators, Barrett attempted to take the blame off himself and place it on his victim. “She wanted to have sex,” says Barrett, who was fifty-seven at the time, and Nikki was twelve.
I watched Nikki talk about the rapes. She was clearly traumatized by them.
Nikki’s mother, Darlene Lunbeck, was easily convinced by Barrett that her daughter wanted the rapes. She also says she had no idea the rapes were going on in her home, right under her nose.
20/20 reporter, Christina Romano asked Nikki’s mother why a child would want to have sex with a fifty-seven year old man. Darlene responded as if she was trying to convince herself of the ridiculousness of her answer; “hormones,” she said.
Nikki’s mother still insists that Barrett was seduced. She says of Nikki’s rapes and abuse, “I don’t feel that she’s permanently injured.”
Darlene Barrett married her daughter’s molester.
I can nearly garauntee that Nikki has suffered great damage from her mother’s total lack of protection, refusal to stop blaming Nikki, and for marrying the man who raped her.
Darlene Barrett was not the only person who stood behind her man. Even after Barrett confessed to having sex with Nikki, teachers and other members of the community said they would be happy to have Barrett teach their children.
Barrett was convicted of aggravated sexual assault on a child, and given a sentence of ten years in prison.
Source: 20/20 Downtown, May 11 2000