Tulare County sex offender charged with kidnapping 5-year-old girl

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FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — A convicted Tulare County sex offender is now charged with kidnapping a 5-year-old Kern County girl.

Investigators said 62-year-old David Barrera of Tulare County was already wanted for failing to register as a sex offender when he allegedly abducted the girl at a Lake Isabella campground.

“Barrera wasn’t known to the victim or the victim’s family. He was a stranger,” Danielle Kerncamp the public information officer for the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said.

Kerncamp said Barrera lured the child away from her campground and took her to a secluded location nearby, hiding her while her family searched.

Kerncamp did not know how long the girl was missing, but said family members were able to find her with Barrera before deputies arrived and he was taken into custody.

“I think it’s conceivable that he could spend the rest of his pasture days in a state prison,” David Mugridge a criminal defense attorney said.

Mugridge said Barrera’s past will be looked at closely.

According to Tulare County Court records, he has along criminal history including prior sex convictions, along with drug offenses and property crimes.

Barrera is now charged with kidnapping a child under 14, annoying or molesting a child under 18 with a prior offense, and two counts of contacting a minor with intent to commit a sexual offense.

Mugridge said Barrera will now likely undergo a mental evaluation.

“Not surprisingly when people commit these kind of crimes, they’re people that have some significant mental problems and depending on how significant they are there are some defenses that could be used to assist in his defense,” he said.

Kerncamp said this case should serve as a reminder.

“Parents can see how quickly things like this can happen. This juvenile was with her family and it still happened in a matter of seconds,” she said.

Barrera is being held without bail in the Kern County Jail and will be back in court July 1.

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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