Clewiston man faces rape, imprisonment charges

A 27-year-old Clewiston man is in jail on charges ranging from committing domestic battery by strangulation, to sexual assault with kidnapping, according to information released by the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office.

The man, Joseph Clement Barrow, was arrested June 1 after an investigation into the claims.

Deputies were first alerted to the crimes on May 28, after a woman flagged down a deputy in Clewiston and reported the crime.

The reported victim of the crime, whose identity is being withheld to protect her privacy, sat in the woman’s passenger seat.

The driver of the vehicle told deputies that the suspect had been beating the victim for two weeks. Later, the victim reported to the Clewiston sub-station to provide more information. A deputy who handled the report wrote that the woman had an apparent broken blood vessel in her left eye, and slight bruising on her face.

The victim, who is from West Palm Beach and may be underage, said she had also been raped for three days in a row by the suspect. The victim was very emotional, with tears running down her face and her hands shaking as she told her story.

Deputies were able to take pictures of the injuries, and transported her to a local hospital to be examined. The victim is believed to be pregnant.

The suspect was made contact with some days later at his home. Deputies noticed a small bag of marijuana in the suspect’s microwave, which later tested positive for the drug.

The suspect faces multiple charges, including: domestic battery by strangulation, aggravated battery – offender should have known victim was pregnant, kidnapping and false imprisonment, sexual assault with a weapon or forced battery on victim 12 years of age or older, and marijuana possession no more than 20 grams.

The Clewiston News is published every Thursday.

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