Former gay-porn performer Tim Barnett, a real estate agent suspected in seven rapes in Colorado and Texas, died Wednesday, July 13, after hanging himself in his jail cell, according to an Associated Press report.
Barnett, 37, whose real name was Bradford Wagner, appeared in such early 1990s movies as Valley of the Bi Dolls, An Officer and His Gentleman, Abduction 2, Dynastud 2 and Thriller.
He was found unconscious, hanging by his neck from a sheet in his cell, Boulder County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Phil West said in a press release. He was pronounced dead at Boulder Community Hospital. Coroner Thomas Faure ruled Wagner's death a suicide. He had not been considered a suicide risk, West said.
Wagner had been held in the jail since his arrest in June 2004 after police said they linked him to four rapes at a Boulder apartment complex during the 1990s by surreptitiously collecting DNA samples from him. An undercover officer posing as a homebuyer collected DNA samples from Wagner, his car, his home, and his bicycle, the AP report said.
Wagner had been charged in a 1994 rape in Lakewood, Colo., and police also said genetic evidence connected him to an unsolved sexual assault in Lakewood and a 1995 assault in Austin, Texas.
According to the AP report, Wagner attorney Wilbur Smith criticized the police department's handling of the DNA evidence in the case. Former officer Michelle Direzza testified that the rape kit containing semen samples from the September 1993 attacker wasn't refrigerated because there was no room in the evidence refrigerator.
Thor Stephans, who directed Barnett in An Officer and His Gentleman and Driven Home for Sierra Pacific's Celsius Films, remembered him as "a 'gay-for-pay' guy, but great to work with and really beautiful. From what I knew of him I was shocked to learn that he was suspected of so many rapes and assaults. What a juxtaposition, to be arrested for all those rapes, but loved to get fucked by men."
Photo courtesy of Thor Stephans/Sierra Pacific.