A man who pleaded guilty to a series of attacks in which he grabbed female joggers and buried his face in their buttocks in West Seattle's Lincoln Park was sentenced Friday to just over nine years in prison.
A man who admitted to a series of attacks in which he grabbed female joggers and buried his face in their buttocks in West Seattle’s Lincoln Park was sentenced Friday to just over nine years in prison.
Duane E. Starkenburg, 47, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of second-degree assault and one count of third-degree assault with sexual motivation for assaulting three joggers in August and December 2010 and January 2011. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree child molestation in an unrelated case.
In court Friday, Starkenburg shielded his face from a television camera and declined to comment. He did not speak.
As part of the sentence, he will have to register as a sex offender once he’s released.
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Tim Leary, the man’s defense lawyer, said the sentence was agreed upon with the prosecution. Had the case gone to trial, Starkenburg could have faced a standard-range sentence of nearly 26 years.
“You never know what a jury is going to do,” Leary said.
In the August 2010 attack, a woman said a man grabbed her hips and planted his face in her buttocks while she jogged in the park, according to a Seattle police report. The woman told police the man said it was an accident.
In the December 2010 attack, a woman told police she was walking up some stairs to the parking lot in Lincoln Park when a man asked for her help, saying he had injured his shin. She let him hold on to her shoulder and helped him up, the report says.
As they reached a landing, “the man got behind the woman and grabbed her by the hips,” it says. The woman screamed as he pushed his face into her buttocks, according to the report.
The man claimed it was an accident.
The most recent attack happened just before 4 p.m. Jan. 25, 2011, as a 27-year-old woman was jogging on Lincoln Park’s waterfront trail. She told police a man ran up behind her and attempted to tackle her, throwing his arms around her legs. The woman, who was not injured, was able to break free and get away.
Starkenburg was arrested a short time later as he attempted to cross Fauntleroy Way Southwest, according to police.
Following Starkenburg’s arrest, the two other women identified him from a photo montage, police said.
The child-molestation charge stems from the follow-up investigation into the Lincoln Park attacks.
A Seattle police detective interviewed a woman who claimed Starkenburg had molested her daughter when the girl was 9 or 10. The victim, now 20, told detectives Starkenburg offered “a massage” and then molested her.
Information from Seattle Times archives
is included in this report.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.