PORT ANGELES — A Sequim man facing five first-degree child rape charges and one first-degree child molestation charge, all with special allegations, is awaiting the results of an evaluation to determine if there will be a trial, according to court documents filed in Clallam County Superior Court.
Charles D. Barron, 31, of Sequim will appear in court next at 9 a.m. Dec. 1 for resetting of court dates.
“State says they are in the middle of an evaluation to determine if there is a need for trial,” according to the minutes from the Sept. 29 court hearing. Several previous dates for the start of a trial, the last being on Oct. 23, had been stricken for assorted reasons.
Barron remains in the Clallam County jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.
If he makes bail, Barron is prohibited from having any contact or communication with the victim or children younger than 16. He also would be placed on electronic home monitoring with a GPS device.
The charges involve incidents alleged to have occurred “between and including and/on or about Nov. 1, 2019 through Dec. 30, 2023,” the criminal information documents filed Feb. 23 state.
They allege Barron engaged in either sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a child who was younger than 12 on six separate occasions.
All six counts are considered Class A felonies, punishable by up to life imprisonment and/or a $50,000 fine.
All six counts also include special allegations — an ongoing pattern of abuse in a position of trust.
The criminal information document describes those as “part of an ongoing pattern of psychological, physical or sexual abuse of the same victim manifested by multiple incidents over a prolonged period of time” and “used his position of trust, confidence or fiduciary responsibility to facilitate the commission of the current offense.”
All six charges also fall under Washington State’s “three strikes, you’re out” law. Initiative 593 was passed by voters in November 1993. It mandates life without parole for defendants convicted of one of 42 qualifying felonies for the third time.
Qualifying felonies include rape, robbery, child molestation, serious assault, manslaughter or murder. Crime sprees, regardless of the number of offenses, only count as one strike. Property crimes are not included under state law.
The allegations came to light after the child’s mother told Clallam County Detective Sgt. Brian Knutson in February 2023 the victim had disclosed to a family friend that the alleged abuse had been ongoing since an incident that had been investigated four years earlier.
On Feb. 16, Clallam County Superior Court Judge Barnhart Simon authorized the victim’s mother to wear a wire to record a live conversation with Barron.
A second order was authorized on Feb. 17 to record a telephone conversation between Barron and the victim’s mother.
A third order issued Feb. 17 also authorized recording another telephone conversation.
Barron was arrested Feb. 17 and booked into the Clallam County jail.
Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@ peninsuladailynews.com.