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Prosecutors file rape charges against Kent boy; will seek to have him tried as an adult
King County prosecutors filed first-degree rape and kidnapping charges Thursday against a 15-year-old Kent boy for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl and 19-year-old woman on separate nights in late October on the East Hill.
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said he will seek to have the Kentwood High School student tried as an adult, which could lead to a much longer sentence if the boy is convicted of the crimes.
"It is rare that someone this young is accused of serious crimes of predatory sexual violence," Satterberg said in a King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office media release. "Because the defendant is a few months shy of 16, we will proceed with a hearing to convince the Juvenile Court to relinquish jurisdiction. I believe a case this serious belongs in adult court."
Prosecutors charged the boy with two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree kidnapping with sexual motivation.
Because the boy is 15, the Juvenile Court will first handle the charges. A Juvenile Court judge must order adult prosecution for the boy and decline the case, which would send it to King County Superior Court.
If convicted in Juvenile Court, the boy could face incarceration up to his 21st birthday, according to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office. If convicted in adult court, the sentence range is 28 to nearly 36 years in prison with a potential maximum sentence of up to life in prison.
Under Washington state law, an offender who commits a serious violent offense is automatically charged in adult court if they are 16 or 17 years old. The boy turns 16 in March.
A hearing to determine whether he is tried in adult court has not yet been scheduled. The next court hearing is at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 14 in Juvenile Court.
In each incident, the boy approached the woman and the girl after they had exited a bus. In each attack, the defendant allegedly told the victims he had a gun and threatened to shoot them if they did not cooperate and go with him to a secluded spot. He reportedly raped both women while continuing to threaten them with what he said was a gun.
Kent Police arrested the boy Monday at Kentwood. The boy initially talked to a detective after he was advised of his rights.
"It wasn't like I wanted to do it or anything," the boy said, according to charging papers.
The boy claimed a family friend put him up to it and threatened to harm him if he didn't commit the rapes. He admitted to the detective there were two rape victims.
In the first alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman at about 10 p.m. Oct. 29 in the 12900 block of Kent Kangley Road, the boy admitted he threatened to hurt the woman and implied he had a weapon, but denied actually having a weapon. He admitted he told her if she didn't go with him he would hurt her.
When the detective started to talk to the boy about the second rape, he stopped talking and said he wanted to talk to a lawyer.
The second incident occurred at around 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30 in the 26200 block of 116th Avenue Southeast, just north of Kent Kangley Road.
The girl and woman provided a similar description of the boy. Kent Police released sketches of the suspect last week. The drawings generated a number of tips.
Detectives interviewed the family friend the boy referred to. The man denied any involvement in the rapes. He also told detectives the boy told him he did both of the rapes.
Detectives matched DNA collected from the boy with DNA evidence collected from the woman and the girl, according to charging papers.