Sequim man found guilty of rape in retrial

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A Clallam County jury on Monday found Corean O. Barnes guilty on four counts, including second-degree rape and unlawful imprisonment, after a retrial.

“The jury returned the verdict within an hour,” said Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ann Lundwall.

Barnes, 29, a former Sequim nursing assistant, was convicted of two counts of second degree rape, one count of unlawful imprisonment and one count of “first degree robbery with sexual motivation.”

Barnes will be sentenced Oct. 16.

Barnes was previously convicted of the first three charges, but the conviction was reversed on appeal, and a new trial began Sept. 18.

He was serving 119 months in prison — just short of 10 years — for the 2009 conviction.

Barnes' attorney, Public Defender Alex Stalker, said he does not expect Barnes to get the same sentence as he did in 2009.

“They hung on one verdict the first time, and didn't today,” Stalker said.

The jury was unable to come to a consensus on the robbery charge in 2009 but found Barnes guilty of the charge on Monday.

Stalker said that he didn't know whether Barnes would appeal again, but noted that the previous conviction had been overturned, so another appeal may be possible.

“I'm disappointed, but it is what it is,” Stalker said.

Barnes was accused of assaulting his girlfriend — at the time she was 30, he was 25, Barnes said — while the two allegedly were breaking up on Aug. 15, 2008.

Monday's conviction ended the third trial for Barnes on the same charges.

A mistrial was declared in the first 2009 trial after the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney's Office presented testimony about a domestic violence batterers' group meeting Barnes had attended, according to court documents.

The court had ruled the testimony about the meeting could not be admitted.

In a second 2009 trial, Barnes was convicted of two counts of second degree rape and one charge of unlawful imprisonment and sentenced to 119 months, but the conviction was reversed in 2010 by the Division 2 state Court of Appeals.

Portions of a four-hour audio recording included the assaults were admissible, but other portions used during the trial was illegally made, and not admissible in court, the court said.

The recording was made by the woman without Barnes' knowledge or consent.

The state Privacy Act does allow for recordings of statements made that include threats.

The consent of one party to a recorded conversation is allowed for recordings that “convey threats of extortion, blackmail, bodily harm or other unlawful requests or demands,” according to state law.

About 40 minutes of the heavily redacted recording were used in the new trial, Lundwall said.



Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 25. 2012 9:26AM
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