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Albany man accused of lewdness aboard ski gondola
William N. Barret III, 47, a state employee, enters not guilty plea in Vermont
By DAN HIGGINS, Staff writer
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First published: Thursday, February 8, 2007
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — A 47-year-old data processing supervisor in the state comptroller’s office this week denied charges that he was naked and masturbating inside a glass-enclosed ski lift car at a Vermont ski area.
William N. Barret III of Oliver Street, Albany, was charged with felony lewd and lascivious conduct at Stratton Mountain Resort in December. He also was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession. He entered his plea Tuesday in Brattleboro District Court.
On Dec. 15, according to police in the town of Winhall, a 26-year-old man riding a gondola down the hill passed Barret’s gondola, which was on its way up.
The witness, according to a police affidavit, could see a naked man standing up in the enclosed ski lift car. The witness said the man was masturbating.
The witness noted the number on the side of the gondola and made a report to the ski patrol when he got to the bottom of the hill.
Police and Stratton security greeted a fully dressed Barret at the bottom of the hill, and the witness identified him as the naked lift rider.
Barret told police he had taken off his jacket and shirt “because it was a nice day,” authorities said. But the officer at the scene, Gregory Gould, noted he was shivering despite his long-sleeve uniform shirt and several layers.
When Gould saw a black cloth pouch protruding from Barret’s pocket, he asked what it was. Barret allegedly replied, “More trouble.”
Inside the pouch, Gould said he found a lighter, a glass pipe and a film canister that contained a little over a gram of marijuana.
Barret was issued a citation.
In court Tuesday, he pleaded innocent to the charges. A status conference on the case is scheduled for April 23.
Barret’s attorney declined comment. Barret’s telephone number is unlisted.
Dan Weiller, a spokesman for the comptroller’s office, confirmed that Barret is a data processing supervisor who earns a little more than $80,000 per year. He declined further comment.
Dan Higgins can be reached at 454-5523 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.