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Michael Barnett acquitted on all charges following neglect trial

Barnett was charged with neglecting his adopted daughter, Natalia
michael kristine barnett.PNG
Posted at 3:35 PM, Oct 27, 2022

TIPPECANOE COUNTY — Three years after the case was opened, a Tippecanoe County jury found a man not guilty on four neglect charges in connection to his adopted daughter.

Michael Barnett was acquitted of neglect of a dependent, neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury, neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury and conspiracy to commit neglect of a dependent.

Michael Barnett and his now ex-wife Kristine Barnett were both charged in September 2019 with multiple counts of neglect related to their adopted daughter Natalia, who came to the U.S. from Ukraine in 2010.

In 2012, the Barnetts, who have other children and are now divorced, had Natalia's age changed in Marion County Probate Court from her real age of eight to 22 and told the girl to say she was 22 if anyone asked.

Court documents claim the pair rented an apartment for Natalia in Lafayette in 2013 and left her there, alone, while they moved out of the country with the rest of the family.

Michael told detectives that his wife had told the child to tell others that she "looks young" but was actually 22, according to court documents,

In February 2022, four counts of neglect of a dependent were dismissed against Michael, online court records show.

The jury trial began on Oct. 24 after several delays.

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WRTV's Rafael Sanchez spoke to Michael Barnett in October 2019.

Father accused of abandoning adopted daughter speaks

Kristine's trial is scheduled to begin in February 2023, online court records show.

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