Well-known rock climber charged with sexual assault in Yosemite

A view of the Merced River and Bridalveil Fall inside Yosemite National Park.
A view of the Merced River and Bridalveil Fall inside Yosemite National Park.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

A well-known professional rock climber from California has been arrested after being accused of sexual assault in Yosemite National Park, according to authorities.

Charles Barrett, 38, was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact, according to a three-count indictment released Tuesday by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of California.

Barrett was arrested Monday at the Mono County Courthouse in Bridgeport, Calif. and is in custody at the Fresno County Jail, said Lauren Horwood, public information officer for the U.S. attorney’s office. A detention hearing is scheduled for Friday.

According to the indictment, Barrett is accused of forcibly committing sexual assault on two occasions and committing abusive sexual contact on a third in August 2016. If convicted, Barrett faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

Anna Parsons, 21, broke bones throughout her body and had her left foot amputated, but it was “nothing short of a miracle” that she survived, her sister said.

Aug. 30, 2022

According to Tahoe Quarterly, Barrett is originally from Santa Rosa and spent about 15 years living in the Eastern Sierra Mountains. The magazine reported that Barrett pioneered some of the hardest bouldering routes in California and wrote several guidebooks about climbing in Yosemite National Park and the Eastern Sierra.

The National Park Service is investigating the case. Anyone with information related to this case or believes they may be a victim can submit a tip online, call (888) 653-0009, or email