The 27-year-old transient is the second man to be accused of sexually assaulting juvenile girls in the city’s homeless encampments.
A second man was charged Thursday in connection with the sexual assaults of juvenile girls at Seattle’s homeless encampments.
James J.A. Walker, 27, was arrested Saturday at a homeless encampment at Airport Way South and South Royal Brougham Way and charged with second-degree rape of a child he allegedly lured to his tent with the promise of drugs. He is jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail, court and jail records show.
Walker has previous convictions for felony drug offenses and a variety of gross misdemeanors, including malicious mischief, violating a domestic-violence court order, obstructing a police officer and multiple counts of fourth-degree assault, according to court records.
Last week, prosecutors charged Nghia Nguyen, 47, with second-degree rape. Nguyen, a homeless man who goes by the name “Asian Mike,” is accused of raping a 16-year-old runaway from New Jersey who has since been returned home, according to charges filed in his case.
Most Read Local Stories
- In blue Seattle, Trump supporters are starting to come out of hiding | Danny Westneat
- Leaked emails show Washington state Rep. Matt Shea endorsed training children to fight in holy war
- Weekend maintenance, construction work will impact traffic on I-405, I-90, I-5 and Highway 99
- Will Seattle finish summer without a big heat wave?
- Judge reverses arbitrator's rule reinstating Seattle police officer who punched handcuffed suspect
When detectives found the 16-year-old in Nguyen’s tent near a highway overpass in the 1400 block of South Lane Street, she told them about the now-14-year-old who had allegedly been raped by Walker, charges say.
The 14-year-old Idaho girl told police “Asian Mike is one of the persons who violently raped her while she was on the streets of Seattle,” say the charges against Walker. Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, said the police investigation is ongoing.
On Jan. 25, police also received an anonymous tip about the 14-year-old, who was reported missing last year. Detectives searched the encampment on Airport Way South and spoke with Walker, whose name had come up during the investigation as the girl’s boyfriend, charging papers say.
Detectives found the 14-year-old early on Jan. 26 walking along Airport Way South and she said she had been raped and sexually exploited by several men at homeless encampments, both at Airport Way and Royal Brougham as well as at the encampment near the Goodwill store on South Dearborn Street, say the charges.
She was taken first to Harborview Medical Center, then to a youth-crisis center but ran away before arrangements could be made to return her to Idaho, according to the charges. Detectives located her at the Airport Way South encampment on Feb. 8, booked her into the Youth Services Center and eventually had her sent home, the charges say.
Detectives returned to the encampment and brought Walker in for an interview. Police say he told them he first met the girl, who was then 13, at Westlake Park in August and when she asked him for heroin, he invited her back to his tent, telling her he could get her drugs at the encampment.
Two days later, the girl showed up at the encampment and she and Walker began a sexual relationship and he gave her drugs, charging papers say. Walker told police that after a week of “steady dating,” the girl began floating around the camp, and had sex with other men in exchange for drugs or money to buy drugs while occasionally still having sex with Walker, according to the charges.
While the girl initially said she was over 21 and had a child, the age she gave kept changing and several people in the encampment came to believe she was a minor “and were actively trying to assist her to return to her parents,” prosecutors allege.