One of three men who kidnapped Alexandria teen last year sentenced

The teen managed to escape after 29 days in captivity.
Author:
Publish date:

More than a year after a kidnapped Minnesota teen named Jasmine Block made a daring escape from her captors, the man behind the crime has been sentenced.

Thomas Jay Barker (pictured above, far left), a 33-year-old from Carlos and one of three men charged in the case, learned his fate in a Douglas County District Court on Friday.

He was sentenced to just under 24 years in prison, a term that will be comprised of three separate sentences – including felony kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct – to be served at the same time, KSTP reports. 

The station says he had pleaded guilty to the counts against him.

According to the Echo Press, Jasmine's mother spoke in court at the sentencing, reading a letter from her daughter which said, “Dear Thomas, I think you’re sick. You make me sick to my stomach. My life will never be the same…”

She also said that she had known and trusted Barker for a long time until he "used that trust... to lure (Jasmine) into his vehicle the night she disappeared," the news outlet notes.

The two other suspects in the case, Thomas Holby and Steven Powers, have yet to be sentenced.

Barker, who is a father of six and suffers from cerebral palsy, has been described as the "ringleader" of the group.

The kidnapping

Jasmine went missing outside her home in Alexandria on the night of Aug. 8, 2017, prompting a large-scale search and offers of cash rewards – which at one point reached $7,000 – for information.

As it was later revealed, she was driven to Barker's home in Carlos, bound with zip ties, and was "repeatedly assaulted" and threatened with weapons over the next several weeks.

Her captors apparently moved her from place to place, including a foreclosed property in Grant County – where she made her escape.

The girl managed to get help after running door to door and swimming across part of Thompson Lake to a residential area, finally finding a man who called 911 for her. 

She had been gone for 29 days, and was treated for minor injuries. 

Next Up

Plainview

Judge orders Minnesota gym that defied shutdown to close

Attorney General Keith Ellison sued the gym after it remained open.

montana cutbank

Charges: Man shot victim 'without provocation' using sawed-off shotgun

The incident happened on Nov. 24 in Ten Lake Township, located in Beltrami County.

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Walz, first responders address Minnesotans

Some departments have been forced to shift staffing or suspend service due to COVID-19.

covid-19, coronavirus

CDC says COVID-19 quarantine period can be cut to 10 or 7 days

You can come out of a 7-day quarantine following exposure provided you've had a negative test.

maple grove fire

1 person found dead inside Maple Grove business that burned down

A person had been unaccounted following the fire that destroyed Hanson Implement and Storage Tuesday night.

One-dollar bill, cash, money

Appeals court rules MN high school students can get unemployment benefits

They've been denied the benefits, and some were even asked to pay them back.

covid-19, coronavirus

Dec. 2 COVID-19 update: 77 more deaths in Minnesota

The death toll is closing in on 3,700 in Minnesota.

City Pages

Fan creates City Pages archive, Star Tribune tells him to remove it

After word spread that the defunct newspaper's website would go down, a fan created his own copy. Then he got a cease and desist letter.

Adam Thielen

Vikings activate Adam Thielen off COVID-19/reserve list

The star receiver missed last week's victory over Carolina.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 10.27.14 AM

Naked man shot by St. Paul cop is charged for sexual assault of ex-girlfriend

The 31-year-old suspect remains at Regions Hospital after being shot.

Lindsay Whalen

Whalen's Gophers start season with only 7 players available

Whalen isn't happy that a transfer wasn't granted immediate eligibility to play.

Related

deonte_lawson

Leader in kidnapping, gang rape of Uptown woman gets life sentence

"Mr. Lawson is nothing more than a monster," read the victim's impact statement.

Cowboy Jacks

Fired Cowboy Jack's worker who robbed manager sentenced to 17 years

Prosecutors say he was arrested in Louisiana after fleeing MN.

Man who shot school bus driver on I-35W sentenced to prison

The road rage incident happened in Minneapolis in February.

Over a year later, man sentenced for murder of Minneapolis dad

Antwan Darnell Cosey fled the state after shooting Frankie Golden during a confrontation.

An unusual sentence for distracted driver who killed cop and his wife

Under a plea deal, the teen will have 25 public speaking engagements.

Jasmine Block

Teen Jasmine Block recounts horrific 2017 abduction on Dr. Phil

She was taken from her Alexandria home by a family friend and repeatedly assaulted over 29 days.