Registered sex offender attacks female juvenile


PORTSMOUTH — On Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, at approximately 9:45 a.m., officers were called to the area of the 300 block of Court Street in reference to an adult male attacking a juvenile female who was walking to school.

Several witnesses saw the incident and one witness followed the suspect until patrol officers were able to locate and secure the suspect. The suspect was identified by the juvenile victim. The suspect was transported to the police department to be interview by investigators. Once at the police department, the suspect tried to flee the investigation bureau and physically assaulted several investigators and a patrol officer. The suspect was able to be secured and controlled.

The suspect was immediately transferred to the Scioto County jail where he was placed in a restraint chair. Several officers sustained minor injuries during the assault.

Upon further investigation, detectives were able to link this same suspect to an assault at Aldi’s foods at 2339 Gallia St. This incident occurred Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, at approximately 7:03 p.m. The adult female victim of this incident said that an unknown male forced her back into her vehicle and punched her numerous times in the head and face area. The victim was able to fight back and the suspect fled toward Speedway. Based on video evidence, investigators confirmed that the suspect arrested in the attack on the juvenile was the same suspect in the assault at Aldi’s.

The suspect has been identified as Jimmy L. Barnett, a 54-year-old white male from Lucasville, Ohio. Mr. Barnett is a registered sex offender who is currently on parole with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. Mr. Barnett has been charged with Kidnapping, a felony 1, Gross Sexual Imposition, felony 4, Escape, felony 2, Assault, felony 4, Parole Violation and Resisting Arrest, M-1. The case will be presented to the Scioto County Grand Jury with additional charges to be considered.

The Portsmouth Police Department would like to extend their sincerest appreciation to the witnesses who observed this assault and took action to follow the suspect until patrol officers were able to detain him. Anyone with additional information about this investigation is encouraged to contact Detective Steve Timberlake at 740-354-1600.