Yosemite employee charged in rape of co-worker, prosecutors say

Yosemite Falls seen without people due to the park closure on April 11, 2020.
Yosemite Falls in April 2020.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
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A worker at Yosemite National Park has been charged with aggravated sexual abuse, accused of raping and strangling a female park employee on May 31, according to federal prosecutors.

Nathan Baptista, 36, was charged in federal court in Fresno on Thursday, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California. If found guilty, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Both Baptista and the woman worked for a company that operates the park’s hospitality services. The rape happened the night the woman met Baptista, prosecutors said.


According to the Fresno Bee, the woman told investigators that Baptista repeatedly hit and strangled her during the rape as she tried to stop him.

The woman had bruises and other injuries on her body and face, which were documented during an exam at the Yosemite Medical Clinic, according to the criminal complaint.