CLARK COUNTY, ARK. – A Glenwood man receives nearly 40 life sentences after pleading guilty to raping 31 children.
58-year-old Barry Walker was convicted of dozens of counts of rape of a minor, computer exploitation of a child, producing/directing the sexual performance of a child and engaging a child in explicit conduct.
According to Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Turner, Walker’s victims were as young as two years old.
Walker was convicted of charges in Pike and Clark Counties. In Pike County, he received 18 sentences of life in prison without parole and 21 in Clark County.
“The scope of these offenses is kind of breathtaking,” said Turner.
Turner said the charges date back to 1997. The decades of offenses were handled in court within just a few hours in both counties.
“I’m not sure what a just sentence would be, but we got the maximum sentence for each count for each child for each victim.”
We first talked to Turner several weeks ago, after he filed the most recent charges Walker was convicted of this week.
The charges included 34 counts of rape, 29 counts of computer exploitation of a child, 28 counts of producing, directing, or promoting a sexual performance by a child, and 29 counts of engaging children in sexually explicit conduct for use in visual or print medium.
In our first interview with Turner weeks ago, he said he has not encountered anything like this case in his years of prosecution. After Walker was convicted Thursday, he noted that is still the case for him, and while it has likely been hard for everyone working on this case, his focus has solely been on the victims.
“In a weird sort of way, it’s been an honor to get to meet some of these ladies some of them as young as 9 years old at this point some of them are as old as 30,” Turner said.
Several victims addressed Walker in the courtroom Thursday, as Turner read their written letters to Walker in front of him and the rest of the courtroom. Some victims chose to face Walker and read their letters themselves.
One said, “I didn’t do anything wrong. I was only two years old. But now, I am 13 years old, and I have a voice.”
Some victims noted Walker was like family to them at the point when they were abused.
“All I asked was to have a father figure in my life. I never asked for this,” said one victim in her letter.
Walker once held a physician’s license. His license was suspended in 1999 after his conviction for sexual misconduct with a child in Fort Smith.
Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson was also involved in this case. He reiterated that the focus was on the victims.
“I do think justice was served today in the courtroom, however, in my opinion, there’s no amount of time that can be given to Barry Walker that will take what he robbed from these little girls,” Watson said.
Watson and Turner added that every victim, in this case, left them feeling inspired.
“These girls showed today that Barry Walker did not win,” Watson said. “They won this case, and their lives are going to go on.”
Another victim, also noted a win in her statement read to Walker in court.
“I hope the world sees you for who you are, which is a predator who preyed on other girls. I win. Those other girls win. You won’t be remembered.”