Trial date set for Kent man in rape case

A Kent caregiver faces an Oct. 29 trial date on a second-degree rape charge in connection with an assault on a physically and mentally disabled woman under the care of a Kent assisted-living contractor.

A Kent caregiver faces an Oct. 29 trial date on a second-degree rape charge in connection with an assault on a physically and mentally disabled woman under the care of a Kent assisted-living contractor.

The trial date for Joseph W. Thurura, 31, was scheduled at a hearing Monday in King County Superior Court.

Thurura pleaded not guilty July 2 to the second-degree rape charge.

Meanwhile, an investigation by the Residential Care Services division of the State Department of Health and Social Services found that a Kent assisted-living contractor followed proper practices in Thurura’s hiring and employment.

Integrated Living Services, 655 W. Smith St., employed Thurura as a caregiver when the attacks occurred between Dec. 1, 2007 and March 18, 2008 against the 44-year-old woman. The woman was living in a Kent apartment and receiving care from ILS. The company contracts with the state to provide residential services to people with profound or severe developmental disabilities.

Kent Police arrested Thurura June 17 for investigation of second-degree rape. He was at the offices of ILS when he was arrested.

King County prosecutors said the woman is incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse because she is physically helpless and mentally incapacitated. The woman is legally blind and unable to speak. She has the cognitive level of an 11-month-old child.

The state investigated the assisted-living company as soon as evidence that the woman had been attacked first came to light in March.

“We didn’t find any failed practice or system problems, so there’s no action we can take,” said Sheldon Plumer, a quality assurance administrator with the state’s Residential Care Services, in a phone interview Sept. 4.

Greg Miller, executive director of ILS, did not return voice mails left for him by the Kent Reporter on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The state sets regulations for all aspects of supported living services provided by contractors.

“One of the first things is we see is if they did a background check and they had,” Plumer said. “He (Thurura) had a clear background check. That’s the main thing, whether he should’ve been disqualified from being hired.”

According to charging papers, detectives used a DNA sample from Thurura to connect him with the woman, who had suffered a miscarriage from being assaulted.

State officials first investigated the case in March after the woman had been taken to a hospital, and evidence of the miscarriage came to light. Investigators wanted to find out if the provider followed regulations.

The state also investigated the care provided to the woman by ILS.

“They took action when the individual needed medical care,” Plumer said.

There are no state regulations to ensure that a female patient will not be left alone with a male caregiver or vice versa, Plumer said.

Plumer added, however, that such a provision can be developed between the service provider and the patient or the family of a patient.

“We go in to see if a care plan was followed, but we do not develop it,” Plumer said.

Investigators checked to make sure ILS followed regulations.

“We look at the systems the provider has in place to ensure the health and safety of individuals,” Plumer explained, adding that ILS did not violate any state regulations.

ILS has worked as an assistant-living contractor with the state for a long time, said Marybeth Poch, regional administrator in King County for the state Division of Developmental Disabilities.

“They are a solid program and have been a good provider for people who are developmentally disabled,” Poch said. “The issue ended up focused on one staff person.”

Poch said the woman no longer lives in the apartment where the alleged attacks occurred. Poch said she could not say where the woman had been moved, but state case managers worked with relatives of the woman to find her a new home.

Thurura told detectives in a March 26 interview that he had never had sexual intercourse with the woman, according to charging papers.

Thurura remains at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent on $250,000 bail.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Mona Das
Kent’s Das elected Senate Democratic Caucus vice chair

Second-year lawmaker will help decide legislative priorities

A King County Sheriff’s Office photo of the crawlspace in which Urbano Velazquez was hiding when a K-9 unit was used. Sound Publishing file photo
King County settles $2 million dog bite lawsuit

The county agreed to pay $100,000 after being sued after a 2016 K-9 unit arrest.

Contributed by the Society for Conservation Biology 
A map showing the locations where plants have gone extinct in the U.S. and Canada since European settlers arrived.
Study: 65 plant species have gone extinct in U.S., Canada

More than 65 species of plants have gone extinct in the U.S.… Continue reading

Media day at the Operations Maintenance Facility in Seattle in June 2019 to show off the first Siemens Link light rail vehicle purchased by Sound Transit. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Sound Transit
Sound Transit light rail trains are now running on clean energy

PSE’s Green Direct program allows agency to power Link trains with carbon-free energy

t
Kent man firing rifle stood near home’s front door when police fatally shot him | Update

Investigation determines three officers fired 24 shots, two more than previously reported

The developer of the Ethos Community Apartments along West Meeker Street will receive about a $3.1 million property tax break from the city of Kent over an eight-year period. FILE PHOTO, Kent Reporter
Ethos apartment developer in Kent to get $3.1 million property tax break

City Council approves exemption as follow up to land sale agreement

Satwinder Kaur. COURTESY PHOTO
Kent City Councilmember Kaur awarded with Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership

Program recognizes elected officials for accomplishing training in four core areas

Most Read