Photo Video
Barbara Brooks
Hide Caption

Barbara Brooks: Mistrial declared in case of former foster parent charged with raping children

a a a a
Share this story

CINCINNATI -- A mistrial was declared Wednesday afternoon in the trial of a Colerain Township woman accused of sexually abusing children she babysat.

Barbara Brooks, a 63-year-old and former Hamilton County foster parent, pleaded not guilty in June 2012 to charges of sexually assaulting four different children she babysat between January 2000 and Feb. 27, 2007.

Officials said the rapes occurred in her homes in Mt. Healthy and Springfield Township.

During court proceedings Wednesday, defense attorneys attempted to introduce seven new witnesses to the case after opening remarks were made. Prosecutors were unaware of the witnesses, and some of them were in court listening to the start of the trial. That created an issue of separating witnesses from jurors and the court beforehand.

Prosecution in turn was offered an option to allow the witnesses, declare a mistrial, or not allow the witnesses to be called. The third option, according to prosecutors, would have left open doors for multiple appeals if a jury convicted Brooks.

Attorneys decided a mistrial, and a new trial date with new jurors, and possibly a new defense, was the best option. That new trial date is March 24, 2014.

In August 2012, Brooks' attorney requested a motion to suppress statements that Brooks made to police. The nature of those statements has not been released.

Brooks is charged with 15 counts of rape and three counts of gross sexual imposition. If convicted of all the charges, she faces the possibility of spending the rest of her life in prison, said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.

Brooks was a foster parent from 1996 until 2008, according to Hamilton County Job and Family Services spokesperson Brian Gregg.

Police arrested Brooks on June 7, 2012 after a relative of the alleged victims, who are now 18 and 23 years old, reported to police that the babysitter had abused them between 2000 and 2003.

In 2008, a child sex abuse complaint was made against Brooks, said Gregg. Cincinnati police investigated, but didn't file charges. Brooks resigned from the foster care program and Job and Family Services officials permanently terminated their relationship with her.

"These cases are always difficult to comprehend," Deters said in a previous news release. "We are glad that the victims had the courage to come forward so that we can make sure that Brooks is never in a position to care for a child again."

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More Crime & Justice
Petition filed to oust Brown County coroner
Petition filed to oust Brown County coroner

A petition filed Wednesday could push Brown County's coroner out of the job.

Westwood man charged in rape of 6-year-old
Westwood man charged in rape of 6-year-old

A Westwood man was arrested Monday and charged in the rape of a 6-year-old.

Campus sexual assault: NKU's prevention strategy
Campus sexual assault: NKU's prevention strategy

This time of year, high school seniors are deciding where to go to college. For many young women and their parents, the issue of campus…

Mayor Cranley: 'Help is on the way'
Mayor Cranley: 'Help is on the way'

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley says he's making good on his promise to add more cops to the streets.

Man pleads not guilty after 49 horses found dead
Man pleads not guilty after 49 horses found dead

A Northern Kentucky man charged with 15 counts of animal cruelty and 49 counts of failing to dispose of carcasses after officers found 49…

Family of murdered mom, daughter seek closure
Family of murdered mom, daughter seek closure

A jury reached a verdict of guilty Tuesday afternoon in the trial of an East Price Hill man charged with the 2012 stabbing deaths of a mother…

Former PNC vice president receives 3 yr sentence
Former PNC vice president receives 3 yr sentence

A former PNC vice president who pleaded guilty to robbing a Key Bank in Anderson Township to sustain his cocaine addiction was sentenced to 3…

Police outline ballooning heroin epidemic
Police outline ballooning heroin epidemic

Stopping short of declaring a public health emergency, police officials told City Council that homicides and heroin are the two leading…

Teen bank robbery suspect to remain in jail
Teen bank robbery suspect to remain in jail

A 16-year-old girl will remain behind bars after police say she robbed a Hyde Park bank and fled to the Kenwood Towne Centre Monday.

Sheriff: Attorney bilked clients, gambled money
Sheriff: Attorney bilked clients, gambled money

Attorney John G. Arnett bilked clients out of $700,000 and used it for gambling at Hollywood Casino, the Boone County Sheriff's Office…