Methuen man makes bail in sex trafficking case, rape 

John Leone, left, of Methuen, and Nancy Barr of Haverhill appear at a hearing in Lawrence District Court on Jan. 2. They are charged with human trafficking and six counts of rape, among other charges.

METHUEN — A city man accused of raping and sexually abusing his girlfriend's developmentally disabled daughter was released from Middleton Jail and now is back living in his condo at the Old Ferry Gardens at 375 Merrimack St.

John Leone, 65, and his girlfriend, Nancy Barr, are charged with human trafficking, six counts of rape, and a single count of indecent assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability.

Leone is accused of giving Barr cash in exchange for sex with her 25-year-old disabled daughter who investigators say has an IQ of 46.

Deemed a danger and held without bail on Jan. 2, Leone had a bail review hearing in Salem Superior Court late in January.

On Jan. 26, Superior Court Judge John Lu reduced Leone's bail to $10,000 and said if released, Leone must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and would be on house arrest.

Leone was ordered to stay away from the alleged victim and her mother.

"No contact of any kind. If any contact, bail will be revoked," Leone's court papers on file at Salem Superior Court indicate.

Leone only is allowed to leave his condominium to attend court appearances, Lu ordered.

Court records indicate $10,000 bail was posted on Leone's behalf Jan. 30.

Meanwhile, Barr, 54, of 9 Evergreen Drive, Haverhill, remains held without bail. Barr also was deemed a danger by Judge Neil Hourihan during the Jan. 2 hearing in Lawrence District Court.

According to court records, Barr will be held without bail until at least May 1.

In addition to sex trafficking, rape and indecent assault, Barr also is charged with permitting indecent assault and battery on a disabled person and intimidation of a witness.

Leone and Barr initially were arraigned in Lawrence District Court on Dec. 24. Then, earlier this month, both were indicted by the Essex County Grand Jury which added a new charge of human trafficking against them. Human trafficking carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Now that they've been indicted, their criminal cases move to Superior Court, where the penalties they face if convicted are more severe.

They are both scheduled for arraignment in Salem Superior Court on March 10.

Investigators said in October the victim was at her supervised day care program in Newburyport when she disclosed the sexual abuse and said she was afraid to go home with her mother. The woman said her mother told her to have sex with Leone to pay the cable and Internet bill, authorities said.

The woman was already suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder she suffered as a child when Leone allegedly started having sex with her, a prosecutor said.

Authorities said the woman was immediately removed from Barr's home after she disclosed the abuse.

When questioned by police, Leone said he felt he was the young woman's "mentor," "caretaker" and "someone she could have sex with."

Staff reporter Julie Manganis contributed to this article.

Trending Video

Recommended for you