Sierra Wave Media

Eastern Sierra News for June 20, 2024






Joe Walker of Mammoth Lakes

Joe Walker of Mammoth will appear in Santa Barbara Superior Court Friday for sentencing on charges related to sex crimes involving a Santa Barbara teenager.  In March, Walker pled guilty to 5 felony counts out of 21 sex-related charges lodged against him by the Santa Barbara DA.  Deputy DA Mary Barron had earlier said that Walker would be sentenced to 5 years in state prison and the requirement that he register for life as a sex offender.

The amended complaint against Walker described a situation over two years in which both he and Dr. Andrew Bourne had sexual relations with a Santa Barbara teenaged girl when she was 14 and 15.

Walker pled guilty to two counts of lewd acts upon a child of 14, one count of unlawful contact with a child with the intent to commit a sex crime, two counts of lewd acts upon a child of 15, oral copulation of a person under 16, and conspiracy to commit a crime. Court documents had also said that Walker encouraged Bourne to have sex with the girl.

Deputy DA Barron had earlier stated that the plea bargain with Walker “spared the victim” from having to testify at trial.  Within days of Walker’s plea, the victim and her parents filed a suit against Walker and the estate of Bourne.  The civil suit alleges sexual battery, infliction of emotional distress, fraud and deceit, statutory violations, conspiracy, seduction of a minor and violation of mandatory reporting obligations by Dr. Bourne.

The suit alleges that the female victim has suffered “severe emotional distress, with lifelong consequences.”  Contacted for an update on this lawsuit, attorney Chris Croes of Santa Barbara, who represents the girl and her parents, said that Walker’s attorney, Sam Eaton, “fell and broke his leg – effectively putting everything on hold for a few weeks.”

Croes said he had hoped to receive written discovery from Eaton, but has received nothing so far.