A Methuen man is accused of raping a 25-year-old developmentally disabled woman, and his girlfriend, the alleged victim's caretaker, is charged with allowing the sexual abuse to occur in exchange for cash payments, according to state police.

John R. Leone Jr., 65, of 375 Merrimack St., #10, Methuen and Nancy Barr, 54, of 9 Evergreen Drive, Haverhill remain held without bail pending dangerousness hearings Friday in Lawrence District Court.

Leone is charged with rape and indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or older. Barr faces a charge of permitting assault and battery or injury on a person with a disability, according to court papers.

The "alleged sexual exploitation for money and sexual abuse" occurred at both Leone's and Barr's residences in Methuen and Haverhill respectively, according to court papers.

The alleged abuse was reported to the state's Disabled Persons Protection Commission and State Trooper Jodi Gerardi was assigned to investigate.

The Eagle-Tribune does not identify alleged victims of sexual crimes.

When interviewed by police, Barr described herself at the woman's voluntary caretaker and said she bathes her, washes her hair, cooks for her and more. Barr admitted she was aware Leone was having sex with the woman. She said "she was ashamed" of letting this happen and acknowledged although the woman was 25 years old she "has the mentality of a 12-year-old," according to Gerardi's report.

Barr said Leone knew of the woman's disability as well and had approached her about having sexual relations with the woman.

"... Sometimes money was exchanged," Barr told Gerardi.

Leone told Gerardi he'd been having a sexual relationship with the alleged victim for two years and recounted having sex with her on 20 occasions. He told police he was aware of the woman's disability.

"He was excited by the fact that she showed some interest in him," Gerardi wrote in her report.

Leone also told police Barr "was aware of the sexual relations between him and (the alleged victim) ... they often happened when Nancy was present in home." Leone "admitted that he believed he was in a 'caretaker' mode of wanting to help," according to the report.

"In John's words he thought of himself as a mentor, someone who was helping her explore her sexual side," Gerardi wrote.

Leone said he gave Barr money after he and the woman had sex and told her to buy "something special" for her.

The report indicates that Leone, during the course of their relationship, also gave Barr money after they had sex.

Gerardi wrote in her report that the alleged victim made "consistent/similar statements" about the abuse to five people, including a family friend, relative and a Lawrence General Hospital nurse.

The woman said Barr told her not to say anything about Leone "because he would stop paying the Internet bill" and "that she wouldn't be able to go on the Internet if she got him in trouble," according to Gerardi's report.

On Oct. 28, 2014, as the case was being investigated, the woman was removed from Barr's care, according to court papers.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.

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