Family “humiliated” at having called him “friend”
On June 1, as expected per the terms of a previous plea deal, Superior Court Judge George Eskin sentenced Mammoth resident Joe Walker, 48, to five years in prison for having a sexual relationship with a Santa Barbara teenager, who was 14 at the time the relationship was said to have taken place.
Walker pleaded guilty on March 9 to five felony counts, including lewd acts with a child. The case stemmed from a 2-year-long relationship that also involved Mammoth resident Dr. Andrew Bourne. Walker and Bourne were arrested and charged on Jan. 4, but Bourne committed suicide later that month.
Santa Barbara Senior Deputy District Attorney Mary Barron said Walker was remanded into custody immediately following Friday’s proceedings, and would be transported to state prison sometime during the coming week. In addition to time served, Walker will have to register as a sex offender for life, and pay various amounts of restitution and fines, many of which still have yet to be determined pending ongoing claims submitted on behalf of the victim.
At the sentencing, Barron read into the record letters written by the victim’s parents: “Nothing will ever make up for the years that have been stolen from my girl. And nothing will ever make up for the girl that has been stolen from us. It is hard … to fathom that we are in this place. It has been a time of cold, heavy blackness and absolute grief. I have never known tragedy and heartache, flat terror and rawness like I have experienced this year. I feel humiliated … that I once called you my friend. I was duped. If I feel this way, I can only imagine how my daughter must feel. I don’t think you can be sentenced to enough years for what you have done.”
The family filed a civil suit against Walker and the Bourne estate on March 14. That case is still pending.