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




A well-known rock climber has been exposed as a ‘monster’ sex predator who used his fame to lure women to Yosemite to be raped. 

Charles Barrett, 40, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday after being found guilty in February by a federal 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. 

Barrett, who worked and lived in Yosemite, sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman three separate times during a weekend in 2016. 

On one occasion, he lured the victim to an isolated area and ‘strangled her to the point that she feared death’ while he raped her, according to his sentencing memo. 

Three more women testified in court and shared similar stories about Barrett sexually abusing them in 2010, 2015, and 2016, SF Gate reported. 

Charles Barrett, 40, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday after being found guilty in February by a federal jury of two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of abusive sexual contact
Barrett, who worked and lived in Yosemite, sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman three separate times during a weekend in 2016 (pictured: Barrett climbing Tuolumne Meadow’s at Yosemite in 2010)

‘He is 100% responsible for his actions. He knew what he was doing, and he made those choices. He’s a monster, unfortunately,’ Sarah McKay, a former general manager and co-owner of Santa Rosa’s Vertex Climbing Center told The Press Democrat. 

Barrett joined the climbing center when he was 14-years-old. McKay remembered him as a ‘funny’ and ‘goofy’ person who was ‘definitely charismatic’ and a talented climber.

Although the testimonies of the three additional women were considered ‘relevant to the charged assaults,’ Barrett was not charged for their assaults ‘because they were outside of federal jurisdiction,’ the release said. 

Barrett, originally from Santa Rosa, was hit with federal charges because Yosemite is property of the US government. 

The disgraced rock climber initiated the sexual assault against the then 19-year-old woman by ‘aggressively kissing her…not slowing down or stopping when she asked, ripping out her nose ring when she tried to create distance, and continuing even though she straightened out her arm and pressed it against [his] chest and told him to “stop”,’ Kristy McGee, a special agent in the National Park Service’s Investigative Services Branch said. 

According to the report, Barrett then started to strangle the victim ‘to the point where she didn’t know if she lost consciousness or not.’ 

The unidentified victim told investigators that Barrett proceeded to assault her two more times while she stayed with him because she feared for her life and was in a ‘frozen state.’ 

Barrett, originally from Santa Rosa, was hit with federal charges because Yosemite (pictured) is owned by the federal government
Three more woman testified in court and shared similar stories about Barrett sexually abusing them in 2010, 2015, and 2016

On January 6, 2017, the woman drove to the Sebastopol Police Department and told police that Barrett was at her home, refusing to leave. 

That same night, authorities responded to her residence ‘at least two additional times for similar conduct, including her report that Barrett was physically attempting to break into her house.’ 

The next day, the police responded to her home again after she called and said that Barrett returned and was trying to break in again.  

When officers arrived, Barrett lied about his identity and was arrested after he handed over his ID. 

For that, he was charged with trespassing, unauthorized entry of dwelling and disorderly conduct. 

Although he faced six months in prison, Barrett pleaded no contest to trespassing and was sentenced to 24 months probation, while the two other charges were dropped. 

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Soon after he was arrested for lying about his identity to cops, the woman told authorities that he ‘threatened to commit suicide’ when he arrived at her home ‘unannounced.’ 

‘On an unspecified date, Defendant showed up at [victim’s] house with suicidal ideations. When they were alone, Defendant pinned [her] to the ground with his full body weight so that she was unable to move or breathe,’ then sexually assaulted her ‘while she told him to get off her,’ court documents said. 

U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert said that Barrett continued to harass his victims with threats when they tried to report him.  

‘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,’ Talbert said. 

‘This case is a testament to the courage of the victims who reported these crimes.’ 

The prosecution revealed that in the over 100 calls he made in jail, Barrett showed no ‘remorse or regret’ for his actions. 

During a recent phone call in May, the convicted rapist said that the women were ‘random girls saying whatever they wanted,’ and that their stories were ‘wild’ and ‘crazy,’ court documents said. 

‘Barrett’s jail calls continue to show a complete lack of remorse and a mentality of victimhood that cannot be rehabilitated,’ the document added. 

Prior to his conviction, Barrett was known as a gifted rock climber who dropped out of school to pursue his outdoor passion in Bishop, Mountain Lakes, Joshua Tree and Yosemite national parks. 

Gorden Cooley, who now owns the Vertex Climbing Center, said that when he joined in 2005, he remembered Barrett for his ‘pretty magnetic’ personality that some people enjoyed, while others ‘didn’t.’ 

Cooley also noted that Barrett ‘had a drinking problem’ that became ‘apparent to most people.’ 

‘When he wasn’t drinking he was climbing at a world-class level, When he was drinking, it was completely different,’ Cooley said. 

‘It’s unbelievably shocking to see that pattern of behavior had gone on for so long, with someone you thought you knew,’ Cooley said about Barrett’s predatory actions.

In the affidavit, McGee said that Barrett’s conviction was ‘the most complex and difficult sexual assault investigation I have ever participated in.’ 

McGee said she felt that way because ‘many potential victims and witnesses expressed fear of retaliation’ from Barrett. 

Court records revealed that during a pretrial call in October 2022, Barrett was heard telling a friend that ‘something will happen’ to the victims ‘in the courts or not.’ 

He added that he had ‘people’ inside jail with him, that he referred to as a place ‘with murders.’ 

Author Annette McGivney discovered that starting in 2008, Barrett had ‘at least nine criminal protective orders or restraining orders’ filed against him by four women ‘who all said they feared for their lives.’ 

Another case cited that he previously harassed his victims physically and on social media, as he used burner phones to repeatedly call them and send messages to them, The Press Democrat reported. 

Gorden Cooley said that Barrett  (left) ‘had a drinking problem’ that became ‘apparent to most people’

McKay said that she found it ‘staggering to see how many times he ended up with a plea deal, or a restraining order that never got enforced.’ 

In December 2004, he was arrested at Yosemite for multiple offenses, including DUI. 

According to the criminal complaint, Barrett threatened a female officer, telling her that she was ‘not safe’ and that he was going to ‘hurt’ her. 

Days later, he slashed the tires on the pickup truck of a ranger that arrested him. 

He was charged with five felonies, including witness retaliation, impeding, intimidating and interfering with a Federal Officer, and vandalism. 

He faced the possibility of years in prison, but instead, was offered a plea deal from the US Attorney. 

Barrett was banned from the park for three years and was sentenced to six months. 

Barrett was arrested by federal authorities on August 29, 2022 while he left the Mono Country courtroom after being granted another plea deal. 

‘It’s about time he was stopped,’ Cooley said. 

Barrett’s attorney, Timothy P. Hennessy, told the judge a life sentence was not appropriate because his client suffers from a mental health illness, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported. 

Barrett’s mother told The Press Democrat ‘no comment’ when the outlet called. 



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