Court denies further review of former Sequim man’s appeal of sex offense conviction

A former Sequim man’s longstanding appeal of a 2008 sex offense involving his ex-girlfriend has been exhausted, Clallam County prosecutors said.

The state Supreme Court denied on June 26 further review of Corean O. Barnes’ appeal of a first-degree burglary with sexual motivation conviction.

Barnes, now 36, had successfully appealed two prior convictions for crimes related to the same incident Aug. 15, 2008.

The high court’s recent decision “finally ends the appellate process,” Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols said.

“Mr. Barnes remains convicted of a violent sex offense for which he has been held accountable,” Nichols said last week.

“We aggressively prosecute violent and sex offenses as a priority for public safety.”

Barnes was convicted in 2009 of two counts of second-degree rape and unlawful imprisonment, Clallam County Superior Court records show.

The jury could not reach a verdict on one count of first-degree burglary.

Barnes was sentenced in June 2009 to nine years, 11 months in prison.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said Barnes raped his former girlfriend Aug. 15, 2008, while she secretly recorded their conversations on a digital voice recorder, according to the affidavit for probable cause.

The state Court of Appeals reversed the conviction in 2010, finding that the four-hour recording violated the state Privacy Act.

Barnes was convicted a second time in September 2012 on two counts of second-degree rape and single counts of first-degree burglary with sexual motivation and unlawful imprisonment.

He was again sentenced to 119 months in prison.

The Sheriff’s Office said Barnes unlawfully entered a home on Victoria View Street north of Sequim with a motivation to rape the woman, resulting in the burglary with sexual motivation charge, court papers said.

Barnes has maintained his innocence. He testified that the sex was consensual and that he stopped when she told him to stop, court papers said.

The rape charges were dismissed in December 2014 based on improper jury instructions.

The state Court of Appeals found that the trial court violated Barnes’ Sixth Amendment rights by instructing the jury on an “affirmative defense of consent” to the rape charges, according to its ruling.

The burglary with sexual motivation and unlawful imprisonment charges were upheld.

Barnes was re-sentenced in May 2015 to three years, eight months in prison.

Barnes appealed a third time in 2016, saying the court violated his due process rights by imposing a sexual motivation enhancement to the burglary conviction.

The challenge was denied by the state Court of Appeals Division II in January.

Barnes will be supervised for life by the state Indeterminate Sentence Review Board, prosecutors said.

He was last released from prison in May 2018 and is now a registered sex offender living in Tukwila, Nichols said.

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