An unregistered sex offender was charged Thursday with second-degree assault after he allegedly attacked a 60-year-old woman in a restroom at Harborview Medical Center, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
The suspect, Greg T. Walton, 38, was wanted on a warrant after he failed to register as a sex offender with King County Sheriff’s Office after serving time for rape following a 1996 conviction, the prosecutor’s office said. In addition to the assault charge, Walton was charged Thursday with failure to register, the fifth time he has faced that charge.
If convicted of the assault charge, his third-strike offense, Walton would likely be sentenced to life in prison, the prosecutor’s office said.
According to Seattle police, around 5 p.m. Saturday the victim was in a women’s restroom at Harborview Medical Center when she noticed a man standing in front of the door. Without saying a word, the man charged the victim, grabbed her by the neck and slammed her through a door into a bathroom stall, striking her head against a wall, police said.
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The man then began strangling the woman, who screamed for help, police said.
A male friend of the woman, who was using the nearby men’s restroom, heard the woman’s screams and ran in to help, according to police. He began striking the attacker, who kept one hand around the woman’s neck as he attempted to fend off her friend, police said.
Eventually, the man released the woman and tried to leave the restroom.
The commotion drew hospital staff and a King County Jail officer, who took the man into custody with the help of a State Patrol trooper, who was working off-duty at the hospital.
Police say Walton is a transient, and it is unclear why he was at Harborview.
The victim was treated for her injuries at Harborview.
Walton was convicted of second-degree rape in 1996 for breaking into a woman’s home and raping her at knife-point, according to court records. Since his release from prison in October 2001, he has been convicted of failing to register as a sex offender four times, in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2010.
He also has convictions for reckless endangerment, second-degree assault and making false statements to police.
According to the state Department of Corrections (DOC), Walton failed to report for supervision after he completed his most recent prison sentence July 22.
Walton is being held in the King County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail on the assault charge and $60,000 on the failure-to-register charge. He is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 27.
Seattle Times staff reporter Jennifer Sullivan contributed to this report