Burlington man denies rape charge
By Eric Blaisdell
STAFF WRITER | January 23,2013
BARRE — A Burlington man is accused of drunkenly sexually assaulting a woman at an inn in Warren on Friday.
Andrew Barrows, 23, pleaded not guilty to felony sexual assault without consent Tuesday in Washington County criminal court in Barre. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $25,000 fine.
According to the Vermont State Police affidavit, Barrows was helping set up equipment with a band that was playing at the Slide Brook Inn on Thursday. After the band played, Barrows and the other band members started drinking, police say.
State police say Barrows went into one of the rooms around 6 a.m. Friday and assaulted a woman who was asleep. A witness, who was also sleeping in the room, told state police she awoke and saw a naked man on top of her friend. The witness yelled and woke her friend up.
Police said the alleged victim told them she awoke and screamed when she realized a naked man was on top of her and she was being penetrated. The man said, “I’m in the wrong room, wrong room” and ran out, according to the affidavit.
The woman said she had locked the door when she went to sleep the previous night and was fully clothed but that she awoke with her pants and underwear around her ankles.
The alleged victim acknowledged drinking the night before. State police said that although alcohol could be smelled on her breath, she did not appear intoxicated and was not slurring her words. She also said she had been introduced to Barrows the previous night but that there was no other interaction between them.
State police said Barrows admitted to being extremely intoxicated on the morning in question but denied going into any other room but his own and said he did not black out. Barrows submitted to a breath test around 11 a.m. and had a blood alcohol content of 0.101 percent.
Barrows has a conviction for driving under the influence in 2009 and three convictions for petit larceny in 2008. He is free without bail.