UW-River Falls Professor Charged With Sexual Assault

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011 at 11:44 am

A professor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls has been charged with sexually assaulting and falsely imprisoning a teenage girl.

The university has placed 42-year-old Thomas W. Barnett of Baldwin on administrative leave with pay. He’s an assistant music professor at the college.

Prosecutors say Barnett approached a 13-year-old girl in a Hudson movie theater, told her he was with security and said he needed to speak to her in private.

An Eau Claire Leader-Telegram report says the girl told police that after everyone else left the theater Barnett cornered her and assaulted her.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of 28 years in prison and a $110,000 fine.

Barnett told The Associated Press yesterday that he has been advised not to comment on the case.

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