Officer sentenced for child seduction, official misconduct

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The South Bend Police officer who was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old was sentenced Friday.

In court, the judge accepted Timothy Barber's plea agreement. He pleaded guilty to one count of child seduction and one count of official misconduct. The plea agreement capped jail time at four years.

The other charges against him, a second count of child seduction, public indecency, a second count of official misconduct and public nudity were dismissed, as part of the plea agreement.

In court Friday, the victim spoke before the judge imposed his sentence.

She said he lied to her, manipulated her and groomed her. She said he told her he would help her, but instead hurt her. She said he betrayed his oath to protect citizens.

She added he lied when he was confronted by another officer over the allegations and called her a liar, she told the court.

The victim is now a senior in high school. She said although she initially wanted to be a police officer, she no longer does.

She asked the judge sentence her to the maximum.

The defense was then given an opportunity to speak. Barber's attorney said the mitigating factors outweigh the aggravating factors, including his acceptance of responsibility, no prior criminal history, no drugs or alcohol, is active in his church and has the support of his family.

Barber has lost all of his friends and his job due to the charges.

The defense asked for the sentence to be suspended to probation.

Barber has been on unpaid leave from the department since his arrest in October 2021. He could either resign or the chief could ask the department of public safety to terminate his employment at their next meeting.

The department did not comment on the court hearing.

The state told the judge Barber betrayed the trust of the community with his actions. It has damaged the reputation of the South Bend Police Department, which will take years to repair.

The state asked for Barber to be sentenced to four years.

Barber then read a statement to the judge.

He said he is ashamed of what he did. He apologized for his behavior. He also apologized to the victim and said he was a monster he should have protected her against. He admitted he broke his oath as an officer and broke his vow to his wife. Barber thanked his wife for her support. He also apologized to the city and to the police department.

The judge asked Barber how long he was an officer and why he became a police officer. He said his father was a pastor and he always wanted to either be in the military or be a police officer. He said he enjoyed the job and worked with a great group of guys.

Now he is working construction.

The judge said Barber's conduct was outrageous but he isn't going to sentence him to prison. 

Barber was sentenced to four years on the child seduction charge and 18 months on the official misconduct charge to be served concurrently. However, the sentence was suspended.

Barber must register as a sex offender for 10 years.

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