Judge sends "Diaper Boy" to prison
A 3rd District judge on Monday called Barton Jason Lewis Bagnes' explanation for why he flashed his diaper-clad pelvis at children "ludicrous" and ordered him to spend up to 15 years in prison.
Judge Terry Christiansen said Bagnes showed no remorse or sympathy for his child victims while continuing to justify and engage in lewdness. Christiansen said a pre-sentencing report and psychosexual evaluation both deemed Bagnes' acts "increasingly alarming" because previous attempts to curb the behavior had failed.
"You have gained a reputation in the community where people are afraid of you, Mr. Bagnes," Christiansen said, adding he didn't buy the excuse Bagnes gave for dropping his pants to show children he was wearing diapers.
"You are not on a one-man crusade to help people with incontinence problems to know it's OK to wear diapers," the judge said, later telling him: "You don't need to expose yourself to communicate."
The fact that Bagnes, 33, has not worn diapers while in jail showed he is able to control his incontinence problems, the judge said.
Defense attorney Kimberly Clark asked Christiansen to give Bagnes a yearlong sentence and require him to undergo mental health treatment. Christiansen instead ordered Bagnes to serve concurrent sentences of up to 15 years in prison on one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and up to five years on two counts of lewdness involving a child.
Bagnes was arrested in May 2009 after he walked through a White City neighborhood, dropping fliers showing diaper-clad children on lawns. Two girls approached Bagnes to ask what he was doing and he lowered his pants to show them he had on an Elmo diaper.
At his trial in July, Bagnes testified he has had an incontinence problem since childhood and had been ridiculed because of it. Toddler-sized diapers were the only ones that fit him properly, said Bagnes, who is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs about 110 pounds.
He said he showed children his diaper to let them know adults "do indeed wear diapers."
On Monday, Bagnes told Christiansen his approach to public education "clearly wasn't working" but "I couldn't think of any other way that would work."
Kids who have this problem aren't allowed to be open about it, Bagnes told the judge.
But prosecutor Robert Neill said Monday that since 1999, police have received 14 reports of incidents involving Bagnes. He was once convicted of lewdness but in other cases chargers weren't filed or were dismissed.
"Mr. Bagnes goes up to children and scares them to death," said Neill, who added residents living near Bagnes had set up a telephone tree to alert parents when he was spotted walking around.
Christiansen told Bagnes that after spending four years in jail, he should have already had an "epiphany" that his behavior was unacceptable.
Prison, he said, may bring the epiphany "I wish you'd had earlier."