William J. Barnett – Repeat Sex Offender – Rapist


A former Zanesville man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday in a Muskingum County Common Pleas court after pleading guilty to one count of rape and one count of aggravated burglary.

William J. Barnett, 62, was originally indicted last year on one count of rape with specifications of being a sexually violent offender and a repeat offender, one count of kidnapping with specifications of being a sexually violent and repeat offender and one count of aggravated burglary surrounding an incident on Oct. 8, 2006.

Assistant Muskingum County Prosecuting Attorney Bob Smith said the specifications on the rape along with the kidnapping count were dropped as part of the plea agreement reached between the prosecutor’s office and the defense attorney, David Mortimer.

Smith said his office asked the court for a 20-year sentence and with Barnett serving a sentence from Franklin County that does not allow his release until 2022, the sentence from Muskingum County is like serving life.

Barnett was convicted of eight counts of kidnapping and one count of tampering with evidence in Franklin County last year.

Judge Mark Fleegle ordered the sentence from Muskingum County to run consecutive to the sentence in Franklin County.

Barnett was also convicted of breaking and entering in Franklin County in 1984, court records show, and is a registered sex offender in New Mexico.

Fleegle also classified Barnett as a Tier III sex offender and said if released from prison, would be placed on a mandatory five-year parole.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

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