A Libertarian Party candidate for Congress who charges the World Trade Towers were destroyed by government explosives, not hijacked planes, faces disorderly conduct charges after a domestic incident last week.
His wife has asked for domestic and child abuse restraining orders against him because she fears she is in danger of physical harm and their children are at risk of physical and emotional harm.
Kevin J. Barrett, 49, of rural Spring Green appeared in Sauk County Circuit Court on Friday on a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. If he is convicted, the charge carries a maximum penalty of 90 days jail time and a $1,000 fine.
On Sept. 10, a Sauk County detective wrote in a report that he spoke with Barrett's wife and she described an incident that took place the day before, according to court records. Barrett's wife said about 8 a.m., the couple's 13-year-old son told their 11-year-old boy to turn down the TV. Barrett was in bed, became upset because he was trying to sleep and ran out of the bedroom with his fist raised, saying "That's it," according to court records.
The wife said Barrett struck the older boy on his back and she saw marks there, according to the records.
The detective interviewed the boy, who said his father hit him on the back several times, records show.
In petitions for a restraining order that would prevent Barrett from having contact with herself or the two boys, Barrett's wife claims she is in "imminent danger of physical harm."
In the past month, Barrett has been getting angry frequently and has grabbed her arm and hair, causing her pain, her petition states. Barrett has shown a history of abusive and threatening behavior over the years, she says.
For example, in a conversation about Barrett's brother and his ex-wife, Barrett made comments along the lines that he would have shot the woman and the judge should have given his brother a knife to kill her, Barrett's wife states.
In July 2005, Barrett's wife alleges Barrett pulled her to the floor and tried to smash her head against floor tiles. Barrett's abusive words and actions were at times witnessed by their children, his wife states in the petition.
In 2005, Barrett's wife filed for restraining orders against him in both Sauk and Dane counties. She also began divorce proceedings in Dane County court, but the case was dismissed a month later.
During the Sept. 9 primary election, Barrett won the Libertarian Party nomination to challenge incumbent District 3 U.S. Congressman Ron Kind of La Crosse. He received 332 votes, Ben Olson III of Wisconsin Dells got 227. National Libertarian Party officials have condemned Barrett as being unrepresentative of their views.
Barrett first came to public attention in 2006 when he taught a class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in which he expressed skepticism about whether Osama bin Laden and 19 hijackers were responsible for the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
During an August interview with Wisconsin Public Radio, Barrett said it was impossible the planes could have been hijacked and flown into the World Trade Towers and Pentagon without being intercepted. Instead, he said the buildings were destroyed by explosives and U.S. government officials are responsible.
Efforts to reach Barrett by phone Monday afternoon were unsuccessful and he did not return an e-mail message sent to his campaign Web site.
Barrett is due in court Thursday for a hearing on whether the court should impose a restraining order against him on behalf of his wife and children.
His next hearing on the disorderly conduct charge is Oct. 16.