A Missoula woman is accused of multiple crimes that prosecutors say happened while she was taking a daylong test drive of a car.
Laura Anne Barthrop, 41, made her initial appearance in Missoula County Justice Court on Friday on multiple charges, including felony burglary and misdemeanor sexual assault, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to an affidavit, Barthrop took a black 2003 Lexus LS340 from a Missoula auto dealership Thursday morning for "a short test drive," and an employee called police about 2 p.m. to say she hadn't returned.
About 11:40 p.m., officers saw Barthrop backing the car out of her driveway and stopped the vehicle, the affidavit stated. Barthrop told the officers "time got away" from her, but she was on her way to return the vehicle when they stopped her.
Barthrop was arrested on two outstanding warrants, and when the officers searched her they found a glass pipe that smelled of marijuana in her pocket, the affidavit stated. A metal grinder with what appeared to be marijuana in it was also found in the vehicle.
On Thursday afternoon, officers responded to a Missoula restaurant after employees reported Barthrop – who previously was told to stay away – was there.
According to the affidavit, a woman who worked there said that when she opened the back door, Barthrop came inside, kissed her on the lips, groped her groin and suggested they engage in a sexual act.
The employee pushed Barthrop back out of the restaurant, and a co-worker saw her leave in a "well-polished" black vehicle, the affidavit stated.
Appearing in court by video from the Missoula County jail Friday, Barthrop laughed and scoffed as Justice of the Peace Marie Andersen read the charges against her.
Barthrop denied sexually assaulting the restaurant employee, saying, "I hate women just like you do, judge."
Andersen set Barthrop's bail at $10,000 and said if released, she was not allowed to use drugs that were not prescribed for her.
"It's called medical marijuana, and I will smoke it," Barthrop responded.
Andersen eventually muted the video feed as Barthrop leaned toward the microphone and continued to insult her, including alleging the judge had rigged an election and that her opponent "should be in your seat."