A former Colerain Township foster mother accused of raping children appeared in court today, tearful and trembling, and entered a plea of "not guilty by reason of insanity" to more than a dozen charges. 62-year-old Barbara Brooks was arrested on June 7th.
Brooks initially faced two counts of rape but after the Grand Jury looked at the case, she is now facing 15 counts of rape and three counts of gross sexual imposition, all felony charges. If convicted of all charges, she faces the possibility of spending the rest of her life in prison.
Today a judge raised her bond to half a million dollars and ordered that she undergo a mental evaluation to see if she is competent to stand trial. Brooks cried as she entered the courtroom, and shook as she stood before the judge, while her lawyer tried to comfort her.
Brooks is charged with sexually assaulting four different children she babysat between January 1, 2000 and February 27, 2007. The sexual assaults are alleged to have occurred in her homes in Mt. Healthy and Springfield Township.
In April, 2011 two of the victims told police that Brooks had sexually abused them while they were in her care. This started a police investigation that resulted in today's indictment.
Brooks worked as a licensed foster parent for the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services ("JFS") from July 1996 to December 2008. She was terminated as a foster parent in 2008 when JFS and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department investigated allegations of sexual abuse. The charges could not be substantiated, so no criminal charges resulted from that investigation.