Eleven Year-Old Girl Repeatedly Raped and Molested: Her Mother Marries Her Rapist

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


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9 Responses to Eleven Year-Old Girl Repeatedly Raped and Molested: Her Mother Marries Her Rapist

  1. Margarita says:

    Hi, that was my high school biology teacher. What’s worse, was that Nikki was adopted by this woman–she wasn’t her birth daughter—so it’s much easier (i think) for her to disconnect and blame the girl.

    In the 20/20 interview, Nikki said that he would pull out her chair when they were sitting down to dinner, and kick her when she was down. His response to that was “She didn’t act like it hurt.” His eyes were so dead and cold.

    Mr. Barrett was a weirdo as a school teacher– but he never ever seemed the type to molest a child. We all knew he had PTSD, so we thought that’s why he was weird.

    No one knew about his personal life, b/c he was very private, and he appeared to be an upstanding citizen, which is why most of the town supported him, and accused Nikki of lying. Pretty much everyone believed she was making it up, b/c it seemed so implausible. (That’s what brought the attention of 20/20, usually folks believe the child making the accusation, or at least take it more seriously).

    Granted–the 20/20 interview is biased. Most of the teachers interviewed were MY teachers (it’s a really small town). After the episode aired, I talked to them, and they stated that their responses were not properly matched to the questions. That is, in editing, they put the interviewer asking a question, and then the answers shown were responses to a different question. Which was all intended to make them look like terrible, backwards people.

    Everyone in that town was deceived by Mr. Barrett. I was a teenager at the time–I thought that maybe she was making it up, because he made sure his public image in the town was impeccable. They lived out in the country with no neighbors in a trailer–easy to get away with anything in the boonies and nobody’s the wiser.

    After I saw the interview, I had no doubt, seeing his blank gaze as he answered the questions. And his girlfriend stating that her 11-yr-old adopted daughter SEDUCED him. Yeah. b/c that’s what a child wants to do with her innocence.

    So yes, the townspeople supported him. They had no idea how deranged the man was when they showed their support–it wasn’t until after the interview that we could all see the truth about him.

    What I remember about him? If anyone sneezed in class, you had to stand for the rest of the period. Everyone had to spit out their gum at the beginning of class, and there was a different student who had to go around and collect the gum in the trash can. If the lights ever went out in the school (no windows), he would hit the deck, and when the lights came on, he’d come off the floor. Same if anyone dropped a heavy book making a loud smack similar to a gunshot–on the floor. so kids would like to mess with his ptsd. he’d make them stand outside of class for the rest of the period. Oh yeah, and someone in my class got him a thank-you card, which we all signed–I think because even though we didn’t like him at first, he was a good teacher. He actually was a good teacher.

    Unfortunately, at home, he was monster. I think that today, Nikki is doing very well, and has most definitely survived her destroyed innocence. Not unscathed, by any means. She changed the game in that town–if a child speaks out, they listen. Regardless of the public presentation of the accused. (I hope so, anyhow–I moved away from that town as soon as I could.)

    • Alethea says:

      “Nikki was adopted by this woman–she wasn’t her birth daughter—so it’s much easier (i think) for her to disconnect and blame the girl.”

      Margarita, even biological mothers are capable of disconnecting this strongly.

      “Mr. Barrett was a weirdo as a school teacher– but he never ever seemed the type to molest a child.”

      I don’t intend on sounding mean Margarita, but only to make a point….What “type” of person seems like a child molester?

      “…usually folks believe the child making the accusation, or at least take it more seriously).”

      Don’t be so sure about that. Untold numbers of children are disbelieved, and for many various reasons.

      Thanks for sharing this information. I am really happy to know Nikki is doing so good and that her experience has changed the way they deal with child sexual abuse allegations.

  2. Serieve Marie Elizabeth Andrews says:

    Ah, all Nikki has to do is follow this woman’s path. Clearly, then she will definitely not be affected – even if her ”mother” is right about her not being affected.


    She’s infecting MY country now.

    Not affected Nikki my buttocks.

    • Alethea says:

      “The most remarkable thing about Smart is her seemingly immediate and permanent recovery from the abyss she fell into. Her father calls it the second miracle.”

      Although time will tell if it is permanent or not, this is the first article where I have ever liked Elizabeth Smart’s comments.

  3. Cengiz Temi says:

    what kind of sick world is this he admits to doing it yet everyone around him would still have their kids near him? Why so he can molest them too?

  4. little nel says:

    “Mr. Nice Guy Barrett” had a prepared alibi and his adult cult followers bought into it, even thought her started molesting Nikki at age 7.

    What’s in store for Nikki’s future? Substance abuse to ease her pain? Or a variety of other psychological issues to ease the trauma?

    I don’t believe that Nikki’s mother was unaware of the sexual abuse of her daughter. The mother’s denial that her daughter was hurt and traumatized makes me vomit. What a f*cking bitch.

    Is this woman related to Cindy Anthony?

    • Alethea says:

      “The mother’s denial that her daughter was hurt and traumatized makes me vomit. What a f*cking bitch.”

      Little Nel, you should have seen the woman say it. Fucking bitch is right. That was ten or more years ago when I watched that program and it is still etched in my mind, as if it were yesterday.

      “Is this woman related to Cindy Anthony?”

      Ha! Yea, it’s like ‘I don’t think Caylee is permanently damaged by her mother killing her and dumping her body like trash in a swamp. We were going to cremate her anyway.’

      • little nel says:

        “We were going to cremate her anyway” has got to be the most callous, coldhearted attitude and disgusting rationalization that I have ever heard from a grandmother when referring to a murdered child! No wonder Casey Anthony is so deadly toxic.

      • Serieve Marie Elizabeth Andrews says:

        Not much I can say here. Would like to say how unbelievable – oh wait, it’s not. Fucking bitch is too nice. All I can say is I have to go vomit.

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