Accused SBPD officer enters ‘not guilty’ plea in child seduction case

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 5:03 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - A South Bend Police officer has his day in court after facing several charges of sexual misconduct with a minor.

At a Wednesday arraignment, Timothy Barber entered a ‘not guilty’ plea. He is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old girl. During the hearing, lawyers mentioned Barber is a married father of four.

Earlier on Wednesday, the South Bend Board of Public Safety voted to put Barber on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of a criminal trial.

Barber was arrested and booked into jail Tuesday.

The charging documents said the victim told investigators she had met the officer in the summer while she was working at her job where she says Barber would constantly visit her in his full police uniform and sometimes expose himself.

On at least two occasions, Barber allegedly picked the victim up from her job in his squad car and drove elsewhere to have intercourse.

The court papers stated the victim felt like she had to have intercourse with Barber because she was intimidated by him, since he’s an officer. She claimed Barber knew she was 16, as she had discussed her age with him, but Barber reportedly assured her there was nothing wrong with him having intercourse with a 16-year-old.

At a separate news conference Wednesday, South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski used the Tim Barber situation to explain why the community can feel safe when speaking up if they see or hear something concerning.

“Somebody said something. Somebody came forward and said something. Did they say it to us, meaning me? No, not right away. But when it was reported, immediately, I got a phone call. And we worked collaboratively. We got a prosecutor sitting right here. We cannot elaborate on the case obviously,” said Ruszkowski. “But with the prosecutors, Special Victims Unit, Mishawaka Police, um, Elkhart County & Saint Joe County, uh, I had to notify the sheriff as well because there were some - I don’t want to say ‘extradition’ - but a form of extradition-type thing to have to follow the legal process. So we did all those and worked collaboratively.”

The judge set Barber’s bail at $10,000 cash. A No Contact order was also issued. If Barber bonds out of jail, he is required to wear a GPS device.

Barber is due for his next court appearance on November 3rd.

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