The stepdaughter whom former Chesterfield Supervisor Ed Barber sexually assaulted is now suing her mom, Barber's wife, claiming that she failed to prevent the abuse and defamed her in local news media.
Barber's stepdaughter, who turned 18 in September, added her biological mother, Theresa Barber, to the $7.36 million civil suit against Ed Barber the day after Thanksgiving. The suit charges that she was sexually abused for years by Ed Barber, a former schoolteacher and chairman of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, at the Barbers' home in Bon Air. Barber pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting his stepdaughter in June 2006.
In the amended complaint, the girl, identified as "M.P.," says she first "reported the sexual abuse and the sexual battery to Theresa Barber in March, 2003."
But Theresa Barber "chose to ignore M.P.'s reports of Ed Barber's misconduct," the complaint alleges. "[T]hereafter when M.P. would tell Ed Barber to stop, he would tell her he could do what he wanted."
The suit also charges that Theresa Barber defamed her daughter, citing various statements to local news publications (including Style Weekly) and television media outlets, in which "M.P.'s" mother indicated that her daughter's sex-abuse claims were a way of lashing out during a domestic dispute involving her family.
Reached at home, Theresa Barber says she's aware of the amended suit. "I have not seen it yet," she says, "so I probably cannot make any comment on it now."
The suit also was amended to mention Ed Barber's new Web site, www.iamaccused.org, which previously billed itself as a clearinghouse of information for men wrongly accused of sexual crimes. Information that was on the site as recently as two weeks ago, including Barber's dramatic narrative of his case, has since been pulled. At press time the site's pages displayed messages that they were "under construction."