YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (KRON) — A professional rock climber was arrested on sexual assault charges for multiple assaults allegedly committed in Yosemite National Park, according to federal prosecutors.
Charles “Charlie” Barrett, 38, of Santa Rosa, was charged with aggravated sexual abuse in connection to incidents that happened in the summer of 2016, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert said. If convicted, Barrett will face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
“Barrett forcibly committed sexual assault on two occasions and committed abusive sexual contact on a third,” prosecutors wrote.
The rock climber has lived in South Lake Tahoe, Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, and Santa Rosa, according to the Tahoe Quarterly. “Barrett is primarily known for pioneering some of the hardest bouldering routes in California. He wrote a series of guidebooks highlighting some of the most difficult problems in areas throughout Yosemite National Park and the Eastern Sierra,” Tahoe Quarterly wrote.
The climber was indicted on August 4 and his indictment was unsealed in court this week.
National Park Service investigators are still looking for more victims. Prosecutors said if you have information related to this case, or were a victim, submit a tip online, call 888-653-0009, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A survey conducted in 2018 by data scientist Charlie Lieu and Dr. Callie Rennison found that sexual harassment and assault in the climbing sports community is widespread. More than 5,000 women and men responded to the survey. Fifty-four percent of women said they changed the way they climbed after experiencing sexual harassment or assault.
“When we learned that 47% of women and 16% of men had experienced some form of behavior classified as sexual harassment or assault while in a climbing setting. This is a real, measurable and serious issue,” a summary for the survey states.