King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu made it clear on Friday that what John Joseph Hauff Jr. did to a woman for eight hours inside his homemade “bondage room” in April 2011 could not even remotely be considered sex play between consenting adults.
“This case is really about forcing pain and humiliation on someone else,” Yu said.
Saying the “degree of pain and abuse” inflicted on his victim troubled her, Yu told the 68-year-old: “You know, Mr. Hauff, if you had done what you did to this woman to a dog, I can tell you this community would be outraged.”
She then went beyond the punishment recommended by prosecutors and the defense and sentenced the Tacoma man to slightly more than 12 years in prison.
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On the eve of his trial, Hauff pleaded guilty last week to second-degree rape and unlawful imprisonment with sexual motivation, admitting that he picked up a 24-year-old woman who was working as a prostitute on Aurora Avenue North in Seattle and took her back to his sprawling property in Tacoma. There, he used a variety of instruments, including electrodes, on the woman, whom he had tied to a wooden table.
The state and defense jointly recommended that Hauff serve a 10-year prison term. Because Hauff pleaded guilty to a sex crime, he faces an indeterminate sentence in which a state board could later add additional time to his sentence and he could potentially spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Yu said she is generally “respectful of plea negotiations,” but in Hauff’s case, she handed down the toughest sentence she could, while giving Hauff credit for the nearly two years he has already spent in the King County Jail.
Hauff did not make a statement. The victim, who attended the sentencing, also declined to address the judge.
But after the sentencing hearing, the woman said Yu’s comments to Hauff “made me feel really, really good.”
“She saw through what the defense was trying to portray,” said the woman, who is not being identified by The Seattle Times because she is the victim of a sex crime. “The cause of this was the rapist, not the prostitute.”
She was working as a prostitute to support her heroin addiction when Hauff picked her up in the 8200 block of Aurora Avenue North on April 2, 2011, and offered her $100 to allow him to tie her wrists to his bedposts and use a sex toy on her, according to charging documents.
Hauff’s request to tie her up immediately raised red flags, but “my addiction totally overrode my intuition,” said the woman. Nonetheless, she was concerned enough for her safety that she texted Hauff’s license-plate number to an ex-boyfriend, asking that he contact police if he didn’t hear from her by midnight.
She is convinced that the decision saved her life.
After he had pulled over in Federal Way to bind her hands and blindfold her, Hauff drove to his mobile home in Tacoma, where he escorted the woman into his bondage room and immediately slapped a chain around her neck that was connected to a pulley system.
“I was on my tiptoes as he undressed me,” said the woman, who was then tied down to a table, with each of her limbs chained to a wall. “He was totally amused by how terrified I was.”
She said she endured Hauff’s abuse because she didn’t want to tip him off that the police could be on their way. But after eight hours, she told him of the text message she had sent.
“I was just sick of being tortured. I was in excruciating pain. If he was going to kill me, I just wanted him to get it over with,” she said. “He was really enjoying himself.”
His demeanor changed when he learned of, then saw, the text message on the woman’s phone, she said. He gave her another $100 and drove her back to Seattle.
She reported the incident to Seattle police, who found the bondage room, with 8-inch-thick walls, and “recovered syringes, belts, paddles, sexual devices, locks, ropes, chains, tubing and two devices that appear to be designed to administer electricity to the human body,” charging papers say.
“I’m just glad the judge saw how absolutely horrifying it was to have no way to get out … and to be completely at the mercy of a psychopath,” she said.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org