Police vehicle

Renton man faces Kent rape charges from 2018 and 2021

Allegedly targeted transient and/or drug-addicted woman, according to prosecutors

A 33-year-old Renton man faces charges of first-degree rape and second-degree rape for allegedly assaulting two women in Kent in separate cases.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed charges Aug. 2 against Edward Anthony Harris for reportedly raping a woman in October 2018 and another woman in July 2021, according to charging documents.

“This case involves the defendant targeting vulnerable women who are transient and/or drug addicted in order to isolate them and rape them,” Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Celia Lee wrote in the charging papers.

As of Aug. 3, Harris was not yet in custody as police try to locate him.

Kent Police officers were dispatched at about 3:26 p.m. on July 21, 2021 to a 911 call about a possible physical domestic assault in a vehicle in the parking lot of Holmes Electric, 600 Washington Ave. S., according to court documents.

While officers were responding to the area, an additional 911 call from LA Fitness, just north of Holmes Electric, and reported that a female came into the athletic club crying and saying she had been raped, according to charging papers.

The 30-year-old woman told officers a man had picked her up and raped her in his vehicle. A witness told police that he began filming a video of the incident with his cellphone when he saw a man hitting a woman inside the vehicle. He had another person call 911. The witness provided the video and pictures he took to police. Detectives were able to identify the man with that evidence and connect him to the vehicle.

The woman walked away that day from police. But a detective located the woman in March 2022 to obtain a statement.

The woman told the detective that she was walking in the area of where the incident happened when a man asked her if she wanted to get high, according to court documents. She said she thought the man was hitting on her and she found him attractive, so she got inside his car. She said the man’s demeanor immediately changed, he stopped her from getting out of the vehicle and reportedly began to assault her.

After he assaulted her, the woman said she pushed the man away and ran out of the car to the nearby LA Fitness.

When a detective searched police records, he discovered the man was a suspect in a similar attack in 2018 in Kent. A search warrant for Harris’ DNA connected him to the 2018 case based on results from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab.

In the 2018 assault, Kent Police were dispatched to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for a rape report after a 27-year-old woman said she was attacked in Kent, according to charging documents.

The woman told police she met the man in Seattle when he stopped to offer her a ride to his Kent apartment to hang out. The woman said she thought the man was going to give her free drugs, so she got in the car.

The man reportedly drove to a place in Kent to buy drugs, but when parked outside of a house he began groping the woman, according to charging documents. The woman said she tried to stop him but that he reached behind the passenger seat and showed her a gun.

The woman told detectives she went to the man’s apartment and stayed for a couple of days because she had no ride and feared he might shoot her if she tried to flee. She escaped the apartment with the help of a friend after being there for two days.

Kent Police arrested Harris in October 2018, but detectives later closed the case pending further evidence because the woman was homeless and detectives were unsuccessful in keeping contact with her, according to court documents.

The criminal history of Harris shows seven arrests for various offenses but no convictions, according to court records.

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