Mental evaluations ordered in child sex case

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - There's new information in the case of a Hopewell woman accused of prostituting herself and a minor to an elderly sex offender.

31-year-old Bonnie Barnes and 78-year-old Lewis Riddick appeared in court on Wednesday to face multiple charges. In court, the attorneys for the two defendants requested their clients undergo a mental evaluation to determine if they're competent to stand trial. The judge supported the requests.

Barnes and Riddick, who police say are acquaintances, sat next to each other at the defendants table. The two didn't look at each other nor did they speak to one another.

Barnes says the charges against her are false. She denies pimping herself and a 13-year-old acquaintance to Riddick, who's a registered sex offender.

In court, Barnes' attorney submitted a document from the Social Security Administration. It states Barnes receives income disability -- the reason she's entitled, according to the document, is due to "mental retardation."

NBC12 caught up with Barnes last month. She didn't want to talk about the case.

"Can you please stop videotaping my house," said Barnes.

Barnes' attorney spoke on her behalf on Wednesday.

"My client fully expects to plead not guilty to all of the charges before her," said James Traylor.

Riddick is charged with multiple crimes including soliciting prostitution. Several of his friends and family members were in court to show their support.

"I think he got set-up because stuff just don't add up," said Lisa Downey. She's been friends with Riddick for 15 years.

Police say the alleged crimes happened on two separate occasions, between January and February, at Riddick's Hopewell home.

It's also important to note that police say there was no sex -- but rather improper touching between Riddick and the minor.

Barnes is out on bond. Riddick is being held at Riverside Regional Jail. Barnes and Riddick are due back in court in August -- the results of the mental evaluations are expected to be complete by that time.

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