Women say man charged in Ashley Johnson-Barr's death had sexual assault history

Vincent Schilling

One of Wilson’s cousins says he had “raped her more than 40 times” in 1996 when she was 12 and Wilson was 18

Peter Wilson, the 41-year-old man charged with kidnapping, sexually assaulting and strangling the 10-year-old Kotzebue girl, Ashley Johnson-Barr, had a history of sexual assault and rape according to two women relatives who spoke to reporters at the Anchorage Daily News.

Peter Wilson, One of Wilson’s cousins told the Daily News that he had “raped her more than 40 times” in 1996 when she was 12 and Wilson was 18.

Relatives of Wilson have disclosed to the Daily News that he had began a pattern of rape and sexual abuse of young girls decades before this incident with Ashley Johnson-Barr.

One of Wilson’s cousins told the Daily News that he had “raped her more than 40 times” in 1996 when she was 12 and Wilson was 18.

The cousin described the first attack. "I was fighting him and trying to get him off of me so he choked me," she said. The cousin also said the initial attack led to a four-month nightmare of rapes and beatings in the remote Northwest Arctic Borough village of Kiana.

Wilson's younger sister, Albertha Wilson, told the Daily News that on another occasion Peter Wilson sexually abused her and another child. "I know lots of sexual predators are going to read (this) and I want to tell them all, they won't get away with it no longer," Albertha Wilson said. "I'm making a stand."

Albertha Wilson told the Daily News she was three when Peter Wilson sexually abused her and another child when they had lived in Anchorage when Peter Wilson had been babysitting. In later years, Albertha said Peter had called and apologized.

Prior to the death of Ashley Johnson-Barr, the 10-year-old Peter Wilson is charged with murdering, Albertha Wilson said to the Daily News that she did not think her brother was capable of killing someone.

"I swear to God I didn't. Just because I'm his sister, I kept telling myself he wouldn't kill a little baby," she said. "But everything else that happened, it all made sense. He did it to us when we were babies."

Previously, Peter Wilson had pleaded not guilty federal charges of making false statements as FBI agents and others searched for Ashley in Kotzebue. Wilson was charged with murder, kidnapping and sexual assault.

Wilson had taken the cellphone from Johnson-Barr and had lied to investigators when he had previously claimed he found the phone on the ground. The cellphone was later found inside the jacket pocket of Wilson. Additionally, Wilson had lied to investigators about knowing the young girl and about using a four-wheeler the day she has disappeared.

Investigators linked DNA found on Johnson-Barr's body to Wilson. Prosecutors and the Alaska Department of Public Safety have not disclosed if his DNA matches evidence in any other cases.

Before being charged in Johnson-Barr's death, Wilson's adult criminal record included no charges of sexual violence and was not a registered sex offender.

Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter -@VinceSchilling

Email -vschilling@indiancountrytoday.com

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