Famed rock climber Charles Barrett gets life sentence for rape


Prominent California rock climber Charles Barrett exposed as a ‘monster’ sex predator who used fame to rape women at Yosemite National Park

Charles Barrett, 40, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday after being found guilty in February by a  jury of two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of abusive sexual contact for repeatedly raping a woman in August 2016 at the iconic national park. 

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Charles Barrett a professional rock climber found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman three times during her visit to Yosemite National Park has been sentenced to life in prison.

Charles Barrett, 40, received his sentence on Tuesday for two counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact, according to federal prosecutors.

The assaults took place in August 2016 while the victim was on a weekend hiking trip in California, as revealed by court documents and evidence. At the time, Barrett, a notable climber and guidebook author, was living and working for a private company in the park.

US prosecutor Phillip Talbert stated after the sentencing: “Barrett’s long history of sexual violence justifies a life sentence. He exploited his prominence in the rock-climbing community to assault women, and when they began to speak out, he resorted to threats and intimidation.”

During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Barrett lured the victim to an isolated area under the pretext of watching a meteor shower and then raped her, according to local news reports. He also assaulted her while swimming in the Tuolumne River and raped her again in a communal shower, court documents indicated.

Three additional women testified during the trial that Barrett had sexually assaulted them starting in 2008. However, prosecutors did not file charges for these incidents as they occurred outside federal jurisdiction.

On the day of sentencing, local news reported that the four women were in court, visibly emotional and holding hands for support.

Barrett’s attorney, Timothy Hennessy, argued that a life sentence was excessive, claiming Barrett suffers from a mental illness and that the women conspired against him to “ruin his life,” according to prosecutors.

Barrett plans to appeal the conviction, as stated by his lawyers.

Federal prosecutors highlighted Barrett’s extensive history of abuse and harassment. In one instance, he appeared at a rock-climbing gym frequented by a victim who testified in a 2017 trial, years after the alleged attack. The victim informed the gym owner about her experience to protect other women and subsequently faced years of harassment and threats from Barrett, leading to his conviction for criminal threats in August 2022.




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