CHARGED: 74-year-old man accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting “vulnerable” 14-year-old girl

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James Barnak

RACINE COUNTY (WITI) — A 74-year-old Waterford man is charged with repeated sexual assault of a child — accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. In the latest incident, he’s accused of telling the girl he would pay her for nude photos.

Charges were filed after the Racine County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the home of James Barnak following “an ongoing and extensive” investigation into the man.

Barnak was taken into custody following the execution of the search warrant.

The criminal complaint filed against Barnak says the Racine County Sheriff’s Office was made aware of Barnak by the East Troy Police Department, which was investigating an alleged sexual assault.

The complaint says a 14-year-old girl told police she was at her home in East Troy on November 7th — when Barnak came over to fix her computer. The girl told police Barnak told her to take off her shirt, posed her in a sexually suggestive pose and took pictures of her. The girl told police she was under the impression she would be receiving money from Barnak for the photos.

The girl told police it was then that Barnak tied her up and blindfolded her, telling her to lie down on her back. The girl told police Barnak began choking her to the point she thought she was going to black out, according to the complaint.

The complaint indicates Barnak asked the girl if he could play with her, and she said “no.” That’s when the girl told police Barnak asked the girl to “at least show some more skin” — with the girl again saying “no.”

The girl told police eventually, Barnak untied her, and announced he would be leaving her residence.

The complaint says the girl told police Barnak has been touching her inappropriately since she was eight or nine years old — saying she was afraid she would be hurt if she didn’t do what he said.

Police interviewed Barnak — who admitted to tying the girl up at her home in East Troy, taking pictures of her, asking her to remove clothing, and choking her — also admitting he had touched the girl several times at his home in Waterford.

The complaint says Barnak told police he had targeted the girl because she was vulnerable.

If convicted of the felony charge he now faces, Barnak could face a maximum of 40 years in prison and/or a maximum of $100,000 in fines.

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