A district court judge imposed a $10 million cash bond Monday after Steven Sarandon Barnes, 28, was arrested by Millbrook police on charges of first-degree rape of a 5-year-old child in connection to a sexual assault that required surgery in Birmingham, according to law enforcement.
Barnes’ bond was initially set at $106,000 with $100,000 of the total cash following his arrest last week on charges of first-degree rape, chemical endangerment of a child and possession of marijuana. At a court hearing Monday in front of District Court Judge Glen Goggans, where Barnes admitted knowing the child, additional charges of aggravated child abuse and first-degree assault were added and Goggans raised the bond to $10 million cash.
Millbrook police chief P.K. Johnson said in a release it was one of the most difficult investigations he has been a part of.
“Because this case involves a minor child and because this case remains under investigation, I am extremely limited as to what I can comment on at this point,” Johnson said. “I will say that this is one of the worst cases that I’ve seen in my 31 years in law enforcement. I appreciate the professionalism of everyone involved in this case from the first responders, the medical personnel at both hospitals, the ambulance crew that transported the victim to Birmingham and our investigators.”
Johnson said training and experience helps first responders deal with this type of situation.
“Over time this profession and the others I listed numb you to certain things,” Johnson said. “It’s basically a defense mechanism that allows us to see terrible things that we have to see and still be able to function. We have to be able to hold ourselves together, complete our assigned task and at some point we have to go home to our families and not expose them to terrible things like this. That’s a tall order when the victim is an adult, as no one deserves to be treated in such a manner. When the victim is a minor child or an elderly person, it’s even tougher to deal with. We are not immune to these things. We just have to deal with them as best we can and do our jobs.”
Johnson said the investigation into Barnes started Thursday when law enforcement responded to Prattville Baptist Hospital in regard to a minor being sexually assaulted.
Johnson said his department is trying to make a strong case against Barnes and hope for the best recovery for the child.
“In speaking with our criminal investigative unit, I am confident that we’ve reached out to all the different social and child advocate organizations that we can to help us make the strongest case possible to prosecute the alleged offender, but even more importantly to help this minor child recover from this horrific ordeal,” Johnson said. “Under no circumstances should a child ever be exposed to anything like this victim was. Our job moving forward is to present a case to the Elmore County Grand Jury and our court system that should this person be found guilty of the offenses that he’s alleged to have committed that he won’t have an another opportunity to expose another child to these types of criminal offenses. Our thoughts and prayers are with this child and her family.”