Janet Kaye Barnes pleaded guilty to the rape and sexual battery of 3 teens at the high school where she taught

By KC Baker
December 06, 2019 12:00 PM
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Janet Barnes
Credit: Leflore County Sheriff’s Office

An Oklahoma high school teacher has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to having sex with multiple students over a three-year period, court records show.

On Tuesday, Janet Kaye Barnes, 44, a former teacher at Pocola High School in Pocola, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and one count of sexual battery, a Leflore County District Court clerk confirms to PEOPLE.

Though Barnes was sentenced to 40 years, she will only spend 15 years in prison, according to court records.

The married former teacher was sentenced to 15 years for the first count of rape and 15 years for the second count, which will run concurrently, court records show.

She was sentenced to 10 years for sexual battery, which was suspended. She will serve 10 years probation instead, court records show.

She will serve her sentence at Oklahoma’s Mabel Bassett Correctional Center and is required to register as a sex offender, local station 5NewsOnline.com reports.

Her attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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On May 17, a grand jury indicted Barnes, who’d been accused of having sex with two students at Pocola High School between January 2014 and November 2016, court records show.

During that time, Barnes was accused of committing sexual battery against a third minor, court records show, according to 5NewsOnline.com.

The students were between 16 and 19 years old when the assaults took place, local station KOCO-5 reports.

Barnes was suspended from Pocola High School when an investigation began in 2016, Superintendent Lawrence Barnes told local station 40/29 News in Arkansas. Her contract ended during the suspension and was not renewed, KOCO-5 reports.

She was arrested on May 20 and charged with two counts of second-degree rape and sexual battery.

This wasn’t the first time she’d acted inappropriately with students, court records show.

In 2010, Barnes sent naked pictures to a student in another district — Smithville Public Schools in Smithville — over a four-month period and asked him to have sex, the student told authorities, court records show, 5NewsOnline.com reports.

The student said he felt as though Barnes was “stalking him,” the court records show, according to 5NewsOnline.com.

Barnes also exposed herself to him, the court records show, according to 5NewsOnline.com and local station CBS 46.

In 2012, she pleaded guilty to outraging public decency involving a student younger than 16, court records show.

She was given a 9-month suspended sentence and incurred more than $400 in fines and court costs, court records show.

According to KFSM, she pleaded guilty in 2012 to violating a protection order for showing up at the same events as the minor. She avoided jail time but had to pay $500 in fines, 5NewsOnline.com in Arkansas reports.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.