Seattle Sexual Assault
by Lewis & Laws
Seattle Sexual Assault
According to KOMO News, in early February 2020, Seattle detectives arrested a suspect who was linked to two sexual assaults committed more than five years ago. The arrest was attributed to DNA evidence which linked the suspect to the sexual assaults. A 31-year-old man was arrested for two sexual assaults—one committed in 2014, the other in 2015. In 2014, a woman was sexually assaulted near the University Street Metro tunnel; however, detectives were unable to identify the suspect. Over a year later, in May 2015, another woman contacted police and reported being sexually assaulted by a man while she was walking in the downtown Seattle area.
That investigation also rendered no suspects. DNA was collected in both cases, then sent to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab, where it was revealed the DNA was the same in both cases. There was no break in the case for the next five years until a man was convicted of a felony crime in Pierce County. His DNA was entered into the national database, where it was matched to the two unsolved sexual assault cases. Once they were notified of the DNA match, the suspect was booked into the King County Jail on two counts of sexual assault.
What is Sexual Assault?
In the state of Washington, the crime of rape falls under the “umbrella” of sexual assault. Forcible sexual intercourse without consent from the other person constitutes rape in the state. Such force can be either emotional or physical—coercion, threats, pressure, or intimidation. There are three degrees of rape in the state of Washington; first-degree rape, second-degree rape, and third-degree rape. All involve forcible sexual intercourse. Washington state also has a law known as Indecent Liberties, prohibiting forced sexual conduct that is anything other than sexual intercourse. The specifics include:
- Rape in the first degree is a class A felony involving forced sexual intercourse in which the perpetrator inflicts serious injury to the victim, kidnaps the victim, uses, or threatens to use a deadly weapon, or enters into a vehicle or building where the victim is located.
- Rape in the second degree is also a class A felony, involving forced sexual intercourse without consent when the perpetrator uses physical force or the threat of physical force, or where the victim is incapable of consent because he or she is developmentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or otherwise physically helpless.
- Rape in the third degree is a Class C felony involving forced sexual intercourse without consent where there was a threat of significant harm to the victim’s property rights, the victim’s lack of consent was expressed through conduct or words, or the circumstances do not rise to the level of first or second-degree rape.
Penalties for Sexual Assault
A conviction for rape in the first- or second-degree bring fines up to $50,000, prison time as high as a life term, or both. A conviction for rape in the third degree can result in a prison term for up to five years, a fine as high as $10,000, or both. As you can see, these sexual assault crimes are extremely serious. Not only are there certain stigmas attached to any sex crime, but the penalties are also extremely serious, and can follow you for many, many years to come.
How a Seattle Sexual Assault Attorney Can Help
If you have been charged with a sexual assault crime in Seattle, you deserve a legal advocate who will fight for your rights and your future. Your attorney will work hard to minimize the legal penalties by presenting the best defense for your specific circumstances. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcome for your sexual assault charges.
Getting Help From Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys at Lewis & Laws, PLLC
If you are charged with a sexual assault crime in Seattle, it is important to understand the severity of these charges. Contact an experienced Seattle criminal defense lawyer immediately. Sexual assault charges could ruin your life and your future. Even the accusation of a sexual assault crime is enough to ruin your reputation in your community. The experienced lawyers at Lewis & Laws, PLLC, have successfully defended clients in Seattle, Bellevue, and Kirkland. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our online contact form.