Thursday, October 9, 2008

"Rabid" Barrett involved in "twisted saga"

UW Instructor Barrett Pushes Woman's Deportation

Controversial UW-Madison Instructor Kevin Barrett has attempted to have a Lithuanian immigrant deported from her Madison home.

But federal officials told 27 News Jekaterina Bittar, 45, resides here legally.

And a Dane County judge has labeled Barrett's repeated, unsubstantiated accusations of theft against Bittar as "rabid."

Barrett ignited controversy when he discussed his view that Bush administration officials caused the Sept. 11, 2001 explosions at the World Trade Center on Milwaukee radio talk show host Jessica McBride's program.

The controversy led to a review of Barrett's curriculum for an upcoming university class on Islam. UW-Madison Provost Patrick Farrell approved Barrett's planned teaching.

Bittar worked as a crossing guard in Shorewood Hills. Bittar is a domestic abuse victim and is estranged from her husband, Evelyn Edward Bittar, 76, an emeritus professor.

As an immigrant victim from a country classified as underserved, Bittar qualified for legal help through the Immigration Project of Wisconsin.

Barrett and his wife, Fatna Bellouchi formerly rented a home with Bittar.

"She puts on a very good victim act," Barrett told 27 News.

Shorewood Hills police officials told 27 News they were contacted by federal authorities about complaints filed by Barrett against Bittar, alleging Bittar was a "green card girl" who had duped her husband into a sham marriage.

"She had basically come to America as a Russian bride by marrying an elderly man and then inventing false abuse accusations to get American funding for her legal help," Barrett said.

But an Immigration official with the Department of Homeland Security told 27 News Bittar maintains a legal resident status.

And Dane County Judge William Foust dismissed an attempt by Barrett and Bellouchi to collect rent money from Bittar. "There are elements of the Barrett-Belouchi case that suggest manipulation."

Foust determined Bellouchi ordered Bittar out of the house before the end of Bittar's lease.

Both Bellouchi and Bittar's estranged husband have been cited for disorderly conduct after harassing Bittar.

Through a Russian interpreter during a court hearing on rent issues, Bittar said Barrett stunned parents of school children when Barrett told her she would go to prison as she worked as a crossing guard.

"He screamed at me."

Barrett and his wife also filed police reports over the theft of a comforter and pillow and suggested Bittar was the thief. Foust termed their efforts a "rabid pursuit."

Barrett also claimed to police an abandoned grocery store cart on his front lawn was the work of Bittar and amounted to a sinister "message" to Barrett and his wife.

Bittar denied the accusations.

When asked by 27 News about Foust's suggestion of manipulation by Barrett and the confirmation of Bittar's legal resident status, Barrett rejected both opinions. "The INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service), I'm sure they don't have enough evidence to throw her out of the country."

Barrett said he would end his quest for Bittar's deportation, but could not promise the same for his wife.

"Kevin and Fatna were trying everything they could to besmirch Katrina and we don't know why," Bittar's attorney, Mark Maciolek told 27 News.

"It's been very stressful. It's caused her no end of concern."

"We hope this is the end of this twisted saga."

Barrett justified his targeting of Bittar as a means of trying to help her estranged husband in the couple's divorce case.

Barrett and Bellouchi were evicted from the house they once shared with Bittar.

Barrett's contract to teach at UW-Madison qualifies him to live at his present residence in University housing.

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