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CONTACT 13: Judge calls domestic violence 'home terrorism'

Posted at 10:45 PM, Oct 05, 2016

Home terrorism. That's what a Clark County Family Court judge calls domestic violence. 

But while we fight terror threats abroad, experts say we leave families in danger in their own homes. Contact 13 investigates our "State of Disgrace."

"I saw my dad choking my mom and it scared me."

"I am mad at my dad because he broke into our house and took my little brother. He probably didn't steal me because he knew I would fight back."

Words no child should speak. No mother should hear.

"I wish I could trade my dad in for a new one."

Rosa Parra does something strange when she talks about the abuse she endured. Often, she smiles.  Sometimes even laughs, hiding the pain of a prison she almost didn't escape.

"He tried to do it with a machete. And this time I was very afraid. I was with my kids -- my two kids were in my bed."

Multiple police reports and a protection order preceded the night of March 2, 2002.

"And he told me 'go back to sleep or I will put you to sleep forever.' "

She says her husband, Joseph Ibarra, sat at the foot of her bed, holding the machete, all night.

"I left the next morning and I told him I was going to do laundry and I didn't know what to do, so I went to a friend's house."

Her oldest son, just 5 at the time, told the friend, "My mom needs help. Please call police. My daddy tried to kill her."

When police arrived, Ibarra was gone -- avoiding arrest as he had in the past. Police went looking for him, but didn't find him. 

Days later, fire department records show Ibarra fire-bombed the family's Charleston Pines apartment where he thought his wife and children were inside.

For the machete incident, the police report shows a misdemeanor charge of battery domestic violence and felony kidnapping. 

Charges were submitted by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police District but denied by the district attorney. That was followed by extended protection orders and violations of those orders. 

But still, a Family Court judge allowed Ibarra to stay in his children's lives through supervised visitation.

So, when Ibarra broke into Parra's home and took their 3-year-old son out the window in the middle of the night, the police listed it as a violation of custody rights -- not kidnapping -- which is a charge that might have kept him in jail. 

He was arrested for outstanding warrants.

"And I was like, okay, finally. Finally he's going to be in jail. Finally he's not going to hurt us. Finally, my life is going to be okay. Three days later, Rosanna from the shelter called and told me he was released."

Released from jail, after which, Ibarra says he disappeared. 

The case was passed on to the attorney general, where, 13 years later, it remains open with an active and unserved warrant.  

"We have to get the word out that domestic violence is a major problem in our community," said Family Court Judge Frank Sullivan.

He knows the system often fails victims like Parra.

He calls domestic violence a form of terrorism.

"We spend billions of dollars on homeland security, right? Studies show women are 10 times more at risk of harm in their own home than they are on the streets."

Judge Sullivan says we need more money and resources devoted to defeating domestic abuse.

"I'll take my chance getting killed by a terrorist while my wife has a better chance being hurt or killed by a loved one. Come on guys, lets get our priorities straight!"

Judge Sullivan has some ideas for solutions and we'll hear more from him Thursday on 13 Action News at 6 p.m. We'll also demand accountability in a tragic case where a denied plea for help ended in the murders of an entire family.

A timeline of events involving Ibarra and Parra

Oct. 2000 - Police report: grabbed wrist, bent fingers backward, lifted her up and pushed her down.

Aug. 2001 - Temporary protection order by court to attend classes but didn't go, angry, threatens to kill her mother, beat her, uses drugs, sharpens knives.

Dec. 2001 - Police report: intoxicated, angry pulled her hair, threatened her family

Mar. 2, 2002 - Police report: battery domestic violence/misdemeanor and felony kidnapping. He strangled her, held knife to her throat, threatened to kill her and steal the kids, wouldn't let her or children leave, held them all at knife point, threatened to kill her mom if she told anyone what he did. Apartment searched. Suspect gone. Knife collected for evidence.

Mar. 5, 2002 - Temporary protection order issued

Mar. 7, 2002 - Ibarra firebombs their apartment, thinking she and the children were inside. They had moved out and into Safe House five days prior.

Mar. 30, 2002 - Ibarra is arrested for obstructing and traffic charges, failure to appear on battery/domestic violence case stemming back to 2001.

April, 2002 – Temporary protection order extended for one year to April 2003.

Oct. 2002 - Police report: Temporary protective order violation.

June 24, 2003 - Police report: violation of custody rights for sneaking into the house and stealing his 3-year-old son who was asleep.  Jesus booked on outstanding warrants. Case submitted to Nevada attorney general for review. Not listed as kidnapping, which would be a felony.

June 24, 2003 - Ibarra arrested on failure to appear from prior charges, then released.

June 26, 2003 - Extended temporary protection order issued through July 2004.

June 27, 2003 - Ibarra is again arrested and booked, but within days, he's back out.

Aug. 21, 2003 – Attorney general files criminal complaint in justice court for felony burglary and felony violation of custody rights.

Oct. 23, 2003 - Police report: harassment at mother's house

Today - Active warrant out of the attorney general's office for violation of custody rights and burglary stemming from 6/24/03.