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South Bend police officer arrested, accused of seduction of 16-year-old

SOUTH Bend, Ind. (WISH) — A South Bend police officer is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old girl.

Police say the accusations against Timothy P. Barber first came out Oct. 5. They say the case was handed over to the special victims’ unit.

On Tuesday, St. Joseph County prosecutors filed charges against Barber. They include child seduction, public indecency, official misconduct, and public nudity. Police arrested Barber in Elkhart.

Court documents say Barber “had contact with the child and used or exerted the law enforcement officer’s professional relationship with the child to engage with the child in sexual intercourse.” Two sexual encounters happened, one in August and another in September.

A detective with the Mishawaka Police Department investigated the case, the documents say. The girl’s parents learned about the sexual encounters after seeing text messages on their daughter’s phone and asking her about them.

The girl told the detective that Barber came to her in his police uniform while she was working. In August, he drove her to a secluded location for a sexual encounter while he was wearing his uniform.

Later that month, the uniformed officer “exposed his genitals” while she was working outside in the drive-thru, the documents say. Another time that month at the drive-thru, the girl said the officer brought her candy and placed her hand on his exposed genitals. The girl told the detective the incidents at the drive-thru made her feel “awkward” and “shocked.”

In September, the girl said, Barber picked her up from work in his South Bend police car and they had a sexual encounter while he was in his police uniform, the documents say.

The girl told the detective that Barber knew her age and that “he looked it up ‘in the books’ and discovered that there was nothing wrong with him having sex with a 16-year-old,” the documents say.

Another detective used the police car’s GPS to determine that it had twice been in “secluded” areas, once in South Bend and the later time in Mishawaka, and later those same times at the girl’s family home twice.

The girl said that “she felt like Barber was ‘obsessed’ with her by constantly coming into her workplace to see her while he was in full police uniform. (The girl) later disclosed that she felt like she had to have sexual intercourse with Barber and felt intimidated by Barber because he was a ‘cop,” the documents say.

He’s scheduled to appear in court Wednesday afternoon.


“These allegations are disturbing and have no place in SBPD (South Bend Police Department) or the City of South Bend. Chief Ruszkowski and SBPD will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation by St. Joseph County SVU and will move immediately to place this officer on unpaid leave until the conclusion of the legal process.”

South Bend Mayor James Mueller

“We will always be dedicated to protecting and serving our community and we take all crimes and allegations seriously; even those involving our officers. The officer was immediately relieved of duty two weeks ago when we were made aware of these allegations. Now that criminal charges have been filed, I will ask the Board of Public Safety tomorrow to place him on unpaid leave pending the criminal trial.”

Scott Ruszkowski, chief of South Bend Police Department