News

Jury returns guilty verdict in rape retrial

by AMANDA WINTERS
Sequim Gazette

A Sequim man originally arrested in 2008 on suspicion of rape and unlawful imprisonment was convicted for a second time following a retrial Sept. 25.

 

Corean Barnes, 29, stood trial in Clallam County Superior Court on two charges of second degree rape, unlawful imprisonment and first-degree burglary after his 2009 conviction was overturned.

 

Barnes was accused of sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend on Aug. 15, 2008, while she was trying to break up with him. She secretly recorded the encounter, which lasted about four hours.

 

Barnes was convicted of two charges of second-degree rape and one charge of unlawful imprisonment in a 2009 Clallam County Superior Court trial. He was sentenced to just less than 10 years in prison but successfully appealed his conviction and got it overturned by the Division 2 State Court of Appeals.

 

The court ruled Judge Ken Williams should not have allowed parts of the recording that didn’t include threats to be admitted as evidence.

 

The second trial included about 40 minutes of the recording, edited to omit portions that could not be admitted as evidence under Washington State’s Privacy Act. In the recording, Barnes is heard threatening the woman, her family and even her cat as they drove to Port Townsend from Sequim. The two instances of rape, committed at two different locations, also are heard in the recording with the woman protesting, crying and struggling to get away.

 

The Sequim Gazette does not identify victims of sexual assault.

 

Defense

Alex Stalker, defense attorney for Barnes, argued the woman manipulated the recording in order to get Barnes in trouble so he would stay away from her forever.

 

“She knows what she wants to accomplish,” Stalker said.

 

Stalker said while Barnes admits he said some inappropriate things he regrets, the recording also includes him saying, “You really don’t want it (sex) anymore?”

 

Stalker asked the jury, “If he was raping her, why was he asking her if she wanted to have sex?”

 

He took issue with the fact the victim didn’t report the first rape right away and continued to drive Barnes to an appointment in Port Townsend, then back to a house in Sequim.

 

“If she is so terrified of him, why does she go in?” Stalker said.

 

During closing arguments, Stalker suggested that while the victim is heard saying “no” in the recording, she was giving nonverbal signals of consent to the sex.

 

“She is trying to make it sound like rape,” he said.

Bruised ego

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ann Lundwall fired back at Stalker’s argument, telling the jury the case is about “a man who would not take no for an answer.”

 

The recording captured Barnes telling the victim he loved her enough to kill her, if he couldn’t have her no one could, and threatening to kill her cat for fun.

 

The law is not just to protect the strong and the brave, but is for the weak and the damaged, too, she said.

 

“The defendant admitted there were no words she could’ve said to him to make him believe she didn’t want to have sex with him,” Lundwall argued.

 

After the second rape, Barnes was angry she resisted and didn’t want to have sex and said, “You really know how to kill a brother,” Lundwall said.

 

“That’s his bruised ego,” she said.

 

He chose the “perfect victim,” she said, who was scared, intimidated and made to feel she is crazy.

“He was very confident no one would believe her,” she said.

 

Ultimately, the jury believed the woman and returned a verdict of guilty on all charges within an hour of deliberation.

 

Barnes remains in custody pending an Oct. 16 sentencing date.

 


Reach Amanda Winters at awinters@sequimgazette.com.

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