Police sergeant accused of sexually assaulting girl
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Court’s Reporter August 14, 2014 3:20PM
Updated: August 14, 2014 4:52PM
A Chicago Police sergeant allegedly licked his co-worker’s 9-year-old daughter after asking her to kiss him and tried to sexually assault the child while she watched a movie, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.
Dennis Barnes, a 27-year CPD veteran currently assigned to the Wentworth District, attacked the girl while she sat on an L-shaped sectional couch covered in a blanket during a family barbecue at her South Chicago home over the weekend, Assistant State’s Attorney Elizabeth Novy said.
After Novy described the accusations at Barnes’ bond hearing, defense attorney Michael Clancy called the claims “ridiculous” and said his 61-year-old client “didn’t do anything wrong.”
Although he didn’t give any details, Clancy said the nature of the relationship between Barnes and the girl’s mother — also a Wentworth District employee — would shed light on why the allegations were made.
The girl and her brother were watching a movie in the front room during the barbecue Saturday when Barnes joined them and got under the blanket with the girl, concealing his hands, Novy said.
The officer massaged the girl’s feet three times even though she tried to move away, Novy said.
Barnes then allegedly tried to sexually assault the girl as she attempted to stop him, officials said.
That’s when the girl’s brother, sitting on the opposite end of the sofa, noticed the activity under the blanket and went to get his mother, Novy said.
When the boy left, Barnes grabbed the girl’s face and asked her to give him a “smooch,” authorities said.
She refused. Still, he stuck out his tongue and pressed it against the girl’s face twice, Novy said.
Barnes, a grandfather of 10, also allegedly asked the girl to sit on his lap and give him a hug.
When she refused, Barnes grabbed her waist and tried to get the girl on his lap but was unsuccessful, Novy said.
The girl cried out to her mom when the woman and her son came into the front room finding the pair under the blanket, Novy said.
Barnes allegedly threatened the girl’s mother when she reported the incident and told her he would harm himself and others with a firearm.
Panarese ordered Barnes held in lieu of $100,000 bail Thursday for attempted predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
The judge allowed Barnes to keep his two firearms while he awaits trial.
Barnes, who was wearing a black hoodie and black pants in court, has been a sergeant for 16 years and has two adult children in their 30s — a nurse and a health case worker, Clancy said.
Clancy said Barnes never turned himself in, as prosecutors suggested, but was arrested during a meeting police called about the alleged incident two days after the barbecue.
“It just didn’t happen,” Clancy told reporters of the allegations following Thursday’s hearing.
“He did not have any kind of inappropriate relationship, or touching or anything with these children….He didn’t do anything that he’s alleged to have done.”
A Chicago Police spokeswoman said Barnes, of the 1100 block of East 47th Street, has been relieved of his police powers pending the outcome of his case.
Contributing: Jordan Owen