Casper Man Convicted Of Raping Women At Gunpoint Loses Appeal
The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled against a Casper man convicted of raping three women over the better part of a decade.
In a ruling issued Wednesday, the state's high court upheld six first-degree sexual assault convictions, two sexual exploitation of a child convictions and one blackmail conviction against Samuel Barrett.
Barrett was arrested in July 2019 and a jury subsequently convicted him following a trial in October 2020. Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey sentenced Barrett to 43 to 62 years behind bars in 2021.
In his appeal, Barrett challenged whether there was enough evidence to support his conviction for sexual exploitation of a child and whether the district court could have let jurors hear that he was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor roughly a decade prior.
Charging documents in the case alleged Barrett held one of his victims at gunpoint, ordered her to perform a sex act on his infant son and filmed it. Barrett pretended to be shocked in the video and depicted it as the woman sexually abusing his son.
Then Barrett used the video to blackmail the woman into having sex with him.
The victim told police she went to Barrett's home in November 2014 to babysit his infant son. As she was changing the infant's diaper, the woman looked up to Barrett pointing a gun at her head. Barrett then told the woman to perform a sex act on his infant.
"At approximately five seconds into the video, you still hear only creaking floorboards as Barret enters the room. (the woman) appears to be orally copulating the baby. Barrett continues recording. At eight seconds into the video, Barrett yells, 'What the f--k are you doing to my son?'
"...Barrett yells, 'Oh my god. Get the f--k away!' The video abruptly ends."
The woman went on to testify that she merely pretended to perform a sex act on the child and acted convincingly enough for Barrett as she feared for her life.
"Over the next six months, Mr. Barrett used the video of (the woman) and his son to blackmail (the woman, threatening to release the video unless she engaged in sex with him and pretended to be his girlfriend," the supreme court ruling states. "On one occasion in July 2015, Mr. Barrett had (the woman) meet him in a parking lot where he sexually assaulted her in his car. Afterward, he rented a motel room where he sexually assaulted her again."
In his appeal, Barrett argued that the video did not constitute child pornography and therefore was not sufficient for a sexual exploitation of a child conviction.
The supreme court disagreed and ruled that the video did not "merely suggest" the woman was engaging in a sex act but that it explicitly portrayed the act as such any reasonable viewer would believe she was actually engaged in a sex act.
Barrett also argued in his appeal that jurors should not have been informed that he'd previously been convicted of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor in 2009.
The Wyoming Supreme Court disagreed with Barrett's contention and ruled that Barrett's prior conviction was relevant to Barrett's motive to assault one of the women.
Wyoming Department of Corrections records show Barrett is currently housed at the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins.