The man has been charged with attempted rape, among other crimes, after police arrested him in a series of on-campus attacks over 20 minutes on May 4.
King County prosecutors have charged a 41-year-old man with attempted rape, among other crimes, after he allegedly locked a woman in a University of Washington lab and sexually assaulted her.
According to charging documents, Ernest Terrill Parnell attacked numerous women near or in the Health Sciences Building on the afternoon of May 4, a series of gropings that culminated after 20 minutes with the alleged assault against the 25-year-old woman in the lab.
Parnell, who just completed a jail sentence for another crime just days before the attacks, has an extensive criminal history and poses a “significant risk to the community,” the charges say.
His on-campus arrest comes amid a series of unrelated sexual-assault reports on or near the university since the beginning of March, the most recent of which occurred Friday in an alley less than a mile from the school. The public-information officer for the university’s police department did not immediately respond to requests for an interview.
Most Read Local Stories
- White nationalism, far-right extremism have special resonance in Pacific Northwest
- Infant in Seattle ER is 8th confirmed measles case in Puget Sound area outbreak
- Radiation in UW building: 200 employees being moved, cleanup could take at least six more weeks
- 'Barefoot Bandit' fails in bid to end probation early to become a motivational speaker
- 'It's usually about the bridge': Captain of Ducks vehicle recounts deadly 2015 Aurora Bridge crash, painful aftermath
According to charging documents in the May 4 attacks, witnesses first spotted Parnell with his genitalia exposed near the building, where he began grabbing women and making unintelligible comments to them. Several people called 911.
Parnell’s behavior escalated once inside the building, where he grabbed the 25-year-old, picked her up and locked her inside the lab, the charges say. There, he allegedly punched her, threatened her life and tried to remove her clothes while she kicked and screamed, the detective’s report says.
A witness unlocked the lab door, whom Parnell allegedly punched to the ground, the report says. Another witness helped the woman to safety, while Parnell remained locked in the lab for police to arrive, according to the documents.
When officers responded, Parnell was nearly naked and masturbating in the room, the report says.
Medics took him to Harborview Medical Center for a face injury before authorities booked him into King County Jail.
Prosecutors have charged him with attempted second-degree rape, felony harassment and two counts of fourth-degree assault, according to charging papers. His bail was set at $500,000.
Parnell faced charges for raping an acquaintance in 1996, a case in which he pleaded guilty to felony assault and was sentenced to jail for six months.
He most recently ended a sentence in April, five days before the university attacks, for assaulting his girlfriend who had a no-contact order against him.