By Diana Hefley Herald Writer
EVERETT — An Everett man accused of raping a 7-year-old girl last month could face life behind bars if he’s convicted.
Prosecutors on Monday charged Peter Barton with first-degree rape of a child. A rape conviction would be a second strike for Barton, meaning a mandatory life sentence under the state’s persistent offender law.
Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Adam Cornell on Monday requested that bail be increased to $1 million. After Barton’s arrest last month, a district court judge ordered him held on $750,000.
Cornell on Monday asked for increased bail in part because Barton is a suspect in two other ongoing police investigations involving allegations of sexual assaults.
Barton has failed to complete sex offender treatment and has numerous probation violations since being released from prison, Cornell wrote in court documents filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.
“Defendant is an unrepentant and untreated sex offender. Only bail in the requested amount can assure the safety of the community and assure the defendant’s appearance,” Cornell wrote.
Superior Court Judge Eric Lucas set bail at $250,000.
Barton, 31, was convicted in 2001 of second-degree assault with sexual motivation after he shot a young woman. Prosecutors alleged that Barton intended to sexually assault the woman. Barton was sentenced to nearly five years in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender.
Over the years, Barton has ran afoul of the law by failing to register with the sheriff’s office.
Barton was wanted on a warrant for failing to report to his community corrections officer in July when he allegedly ended up at a home where a 7-year-old girl was visiting family.
Witnesses told police they heard the girl crying from the living room and found Barton alone in the dark with the girl. Barton’s relative confronted him and he reportedly ran from the house.
The girl reported the rape to her mother. She later told investigators that Barton held her down. She said she was crying and asked him to let her go home to her mom.
Barton allegedly told detectives that he was drunk the night of the incident. He said he remembered running out of the home, but didn’t know why people were upset with him. He said he was never alone with the girl. Barton declined to provide any additional details, and invoked his right to speak with an attorney.
Everett police also are investigating allegations that Barton sexually assaulted a man in March and a girl in 2004, court papers said. Charges have not been filed in those cases.
Barton earned his first strike in 2001 when he asked a young woman to drive him to a park to buy some marijuana. The woman, 20, told police that when she refused his sexual advances, Barton pulled out a gun and pointed it at her head. He forced her to remove her clothes. After she refused to move closer to him, Barton shot her. The bullet struck her arm and also hit her leg, fracturing her femur.
Barton said the shooting was an accident.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; email@example.com.