Early in 2004, in bucolic Litchfield County, Connecticut, seventeen-year-old Jeremy Barney was arraigned on charges that he had raped, sodomized, and tortured a neighborhood family’s three children—an eight-year-old girl and her two brothers, ages thirteen and seven.
According to interviews with the family, Jeremy beat and burned the children, cut them with knives and glass, raped their pets as the children watched, and vowed to kill their parents if the children told.
Jeremy told authorities that he and the family’s oldest boy, age thirteen, had been having consensual sex. Jeremy denied the other allegations.
Aside from the statements of the accusing family, and contrary to statements by the prosecution, no evidence indicated that Jeremy had committed the crimes they alleged.
In fact, no evidence indicated that these crimes had ever occurred.
In June of 2005, Jeremy received a “bench trial”—a trial without a jury—which required little more than an hour to see the high-school senior sentenced to a maximum security prison for twenty years.
Painstakingly researched and reconstructed from the original case files as well as recent interviews, No Evidence, No Jury, No Justice explores the incomparable power of allegations of child sexual assault. An examination of a national issue and a local tragedy, of malicious lies, homophobia, and gross incompetence, The True Story of Jeremy Barney is the story of three children who have been forced to keep a tragic family secret, and the story of a teenage boy serving 20 years in prison not for crimes that he didn’t commit, but for crimes that never occurred.