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More teens accuse cheerleading coach of sexual abuse

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two more teenage boys have come forward claiming that a former Marion County cheerleading coach had sexual relations with them.

Amanda Jo Barker, 31, of Mannington was arrested Monday and charged with three counts of sexual abuse by a person of trust and one count of soliciting a minor via computer, said Sgt. Michael Baylous, State Police spokesman.

Barker, a mother of three, is the former freshman cheerleading coach at North Marion High School. She was arrested in October on three counts of sexual abuse by a person of trust.

 The investigation began in October when a student at North Marion told administrators Barker performed oral sex on another student.

Baylous said two more victims, ages 16 and 17, have come forward.

One told Sgt. Adam Scott, an officer with the Crimes Against Children Unit in Fairmont, that his encounters with Barker occurred in her Mannington home during sleepovers. He said she performed oral sex on him while other teens were in the home.

Baylous said the other boy told Scott that Barker "lured" him by texting him naked photos of herself and asking him to send her pictures of his genitalia.

The teen said Barker performed oral sex on him in a parking lot, according to State Police.

The first victim identified in the case initially denied any sexual encounters with Barker, telling investigators he lied about the incident to his girlfriend to make her jealous, according to a criminal complaint filed in Marion County.

He then told investigators that Barker performed oral sex on him three times in her home last winter. The teen said he spent a lot of time at Barker's home because he was good friends with her husband, Josh Barker, who served at one point as the teen's soccer coach.

The boy said he and Amanda Barker "began to flirt around together" and "she apparently thought he liked her," according to that complaint.

The incidents occurred in her home before he went to bed. He assumed her husband already was in bed when the incidents occurred.

At one point she asked him if he wanted to go further but he declined "because it felt wrong," the complaint said. After their third encounter they agreed to stop and not to tell anyone.

He also told his best friend about the encounters.

Barker told Scott during an interview the teen had "a flirting way about him" and her husband and children were in bed when the incidents occurred. She told investigators then that she had never done anything with any other minors.

Barker said the guilt began to set in and she felt embarrassed, regretful and worried.

"She said she does not think she has a problem that she needs help for," Scott wrote in the October complaint. "It was just a lustful thing and the flesh gave in. The accused said the victim had a choice, too, but she should have been the adult about it."

The Marion County Board of Education fired Barker in November and barred her from attending any high school events, according to a previous Times West Virginian report.

Barker was free on bond Monday evening after posting a $100,000 bond, Baylous said.


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