Pimp sentenced to life in prison | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Pimp sentenced to life in prison

Adam Jensen
ajensen@tahoedailytribune.com

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – A judge has sentenced a Sacramento pimp to an indeterminate state prison sentence for a November 2008 incident where he and a prostitute kidnapped and beat a woman before leaving her nearly naked in the snow.

El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Steven Bailey sentenced Joshua Barber, 27, to consecutive terms of 12 years, eight months and seven years to life in state prison on Friday.

A jury found Barber guilty of threatening, torturing, kidnapping and assaulting the 25-year-old victim earlier this month.

During sentencing, Bailey called the crimes “horrendous” and said the most troubling aspect of the case was Barber’s “absolute lack of remorse.”

The consecutive sentences mean Barber will serve about 17 years in prison before being able to seek release, said El Dorado County Deputy District Attorney Dale Gomes. Barber’s release date will ultimately be determined by the California Department of Corrections, Gomes said.

The prosecutor said he felt Barber’s sentence was appropriate given the crime.

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Barber’s attorney, Dain Weiner, requested less than the maximum sentence given to Barber on Friday because of codefendant Amanda Johnson’s involvement in the incident. He argued Barber had shown remorse in a probation report.

“I just thought a midterm (sentence) would have been appropriate in light of the codefendant’s culpability,” Weiner said outside of the courtroom Friday.

Barber was clearly the dominant person in Johnson and Barber’s relationship, Gomes argued Friday. Johnson underwent “extreme and outrageous” violence at the hands of Barber, similar to what the victim in the case experienced, Gomes said.

The Tribune does not publish the names of victims of sexual assault.

Johnson, 29, testified against Barber during trial and will serve 11 years in state prison as part of a plea agreement with the District Attorney’s Office.

The Nov. 22, 2008, incident began when the victim met Johnson inside of Harrah’s Lake Tahoe during a night of drinking and dancing with a group of friends.

The woman encountered Barber and Johnson in the parking lot of the Cedar Lodge later that night. The victim said she believed Johnson began to assault her because she was jealous of her conversation with Barber.

“Barber and Johnson then forced the victim into a vehicle, and, while continuing to beat her and threatening to kill her, took her to a location in the Camp Richardson area, where she was stripped of most of her clothing and left in the snow,” according to a statement from the District Attorney’s office released earlier this month. “The victim heard traffic, was able to move toward that sound, and thus found a Caltrans snow plow. The Caltrans employee promptly summoned aid for her.”

The victim suffered broken teeth, a fractured nose and a hemorrhaged eye from the assault.

While Bailey was reading through some of the more technical language involved in sentencing on Friday, Barber grew impatient.

“Can you hurry up and just give me the (expletive) time, man,” Barber said.

A court bailiff approached Barber, telling him not to interrupt the judge.

“I want to get the (expletive) up out of here,” Barber continued, before the bailiff ordered the courtroom cleared of spectators and removed Barber from the court.

The courtroom was cleared for about 10 minutes. Sentencing resumed without Barber in the courtroom. Bailey indicated Barber was listening to the proceedings via a holding cell.

Weiner said Barber did not want to be sentenced in front of family members, many of whom were in the courtroom on Friday.

Following Friday’s hearing, the victim of the assault said she was happy with Barber’s sentence.

“I feel great, really good,” the woman said Friday. “I think he deserves it.”

The woman said she has been treated for depression and post traumatic stress disorder since the incident. The assault left her unable to leave the house for period of time, but, with the help of friends, she is healing.

She said she believes in the criminal justice system and hopes to become a criminal investigator.

“With a lot of psychological work to myself, I think I’ll be able to move on,” the woman said. “I’ll never be able to forget.”

The victim said Barber’s courtroom outburst shows he has no remorse or shame for the incident.

Members of Barber’s family criticized the sentence outside of the courtroom on Friday.

Barber’s cousin, Josh Uasequel, called Barber’s sentence an “injustice,” given the involvement of Johnson in the incident.

El Dorado County prosecutors have also been overzealous in their prosecution of the case because the incident was unusual for the South Lake Tahoe area, said Barber’s oldest sister, Shameka Barber.

“He’s not a monster,” Barber added.

An appeal will be filed in the case, Weiner said.