Pro rock climber sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting woman in Yosemite

Charles Barrett will spend the rest of his life behind bars for sexually assaulting a woman who visited Yosemite for a weekend of hiking in 2016.

Professional rock climber Charles Barrett, 40, was sentenced to live in prison on Tuesday for sexual assault. 

Barrett was previously found guilty of sexually abusing a woman in Yosemite National Park. 

The big picture: In August 2016, the victim was in Yosemite for a weekend of hiking when Barrett sexually assaulted her three times. 

  • Barrett was living and working for a private business in Yosemite at the time. 
  • Three other women also testified during the trial that Barrett sexually assaulted them as well, but those assaults were not charged because they were outside federal jurisdiction. 
  • Federal prosecutors said in a statement that Barrett made hundreds of phone calls while he has been in custody and has shown no remorse or regret, instead threatening to use violence and vindictive lawsuits against the victims. 

What they’re saying: “Barrett’s long history of sexual violence supports the imposition of a life sentence,” said U.S. Attorney Talbert. “He used his status as a prominent climber to assault women in the rock-climbing community, and when his victims began to tell, Barrett responded by lashing out publicly with threats and intimidation. This case is a testament to the courage of the victims who reported these crimes. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to investigate and prosecute violent crimes in National Parks like Yosemite.”

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