Pro rock climber found guilty of sexual assaulting woman in Yosemite

A federal jury in Sacramento handed down the guilty verdict on Tuesday.

A professional rock climber was found guilty in federal court on Tuesday of sexually abusing a woman in Yosemite National Park. 

U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert announced the verdict on Tuesday. 


The big picture: The federal jury found Charles Barrett, 39, guilty of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact. 

  • The crimes occurred during a weekend in Yosemite. 
  • Court documents and evidence showed that the victim was at Yosemite for a weekend of hiking. Barrett was working and living in the park at the time. 
  • Barrett sexually assaulted the victim three times over the weekend. Those assaults were not charged because they were outside federal jurisdiction. However, they were admitted at trial as relevant to the charged assaults. 
  • Barrett is scheduled to be sentenced on May 21 and faces a maximum of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

What they’re saying: “This defendant used his renown and physical presence as a rock climber to lure and intimidate victims who were part of the rock-climbing community. His violent sexual assaults were devastating to the victims, whom he later threatened in the lead-up to trial,” Talbert said. “Today, the defendant has been held accountable for his crimes. My office will continue its work to make National Parks such as Yosemite a safe place for all.”

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