SANTA ANA — The attempted rape of a 66-year-old Huntington Beach woman resulted this week in a 40-years-to-life sentence for Tracy William Barton, 54, of Costa Mesa, according to the Huntington Beach Police Department.
The attack took place Feb. 12, 2008, around 7:30 p.m., when Barton, a registered sex offender, knocked on the female victim’s door. He was reportedly in the area because he worked as a car detailer for the victim’s neighbor.
When the woman answered her door, Barton, who is 6-4 and 240 pounds, forced his way inside, knocking the woman to the ground and slamming her head into the floor. He then proceeded to hit her in the face.
The attack continued with Barton dragging the screaming woman upstairs into her bedroom. He found some stockings in the victim’s lingerie drawer which he used to bind her wrists and ankles then removed her clothes.
Police received a call from a neighbor who heard the woman’s frantic screams and officers were on the scene before Barton was able to sexually assault the victim. Barton tried to escape, bolting out the front door of the victim’s residence, and a a foot pursuit followed. Officers were able to take Barton down, using a taser to finally subdue him as he continued a desperate struggle.
During the trial, Barton faced felony counts that included burglary, aggravated assault, sexual battery by restraint causing great bodily injury, and committing a crime against a vulnerable victim with a prior conviction. Sentencing enhancements were leveled because of the defendant’s long felony history, which consists of numerous crimes and three prior strike convictions from 1991 for forcible rape, kidnapping, and forcible oral copulation. He served half of a 24-year sentence for the convictions.
Evidence presented by the most recent prosecution revealed Barton’s extreme infatuation with women’s undergarments, his computer divulging a long list of internet searches for women in girdles, nylons, briefs and sexual photographs of “moms in white underwear,” according to police.
The 66-year-old victim suffered a sprained neck, bruises to her head, face and hands. Skin from the suspect was found beneath her fingernails.
During her victim impact statement, the woman noted that with the help of counseling she was confident she could overcome her fears and “get her old life back, refusing to let Barton take anymore away from her than he already had.”
Authorities encourage anyone with additional information, or who believes they have been a victim, to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Randy Litwin at (714) 347-8794 or Huntington Beach police Det. Cathy Meza at (714) 536-5970.