Blood was left behind in a woman’s Renton apartment during an alleged sexual attack in November 2007. Nearly eight years later, a suspect was found thanks to a DNA match with semen left on a woman’s clothing in a separate incident involving the same suspect.
A 27-year-old Renton man has been charged with two counts of indecent liberties for separate sex crimes allegedly committed nearly eight years apart, according to King County prosecutors.
Both cases were linked to the suspect, Levi Staples Jr., through DNA, charging papers say.
In late April, a woman went to a barbecue at a friend’s apartment in Skyway, charging papers say. Also there was Staples, according to the charges.
The woman fell asleep on a couch while the others watched TV, say the charges. The woman woke to find her pants and underwear had been pulled down, with Staples “spooning” her from behind, trying to rape her, the papers say.
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The woman jumped off the couch and yelled at him, then went to sleep in a bedroom, but she told her friend what happened the next morning, the charges say.
At some point, the woman noticed a white stain on the couch and the back of her clothes, which she later told a King County sheriff’s detective she assumed was semen, charging papers say. Staples apparently cleaned the couch before he left that morning, but the woman saved her clothing, which she turned over to detectives to submit for DNA testing, say the papers.
In June, a detective got a warrant to obtain a DNA sample from Staples, which matched not only the semen from the woman’s clothes but blood stains left behind at an alleged crime scene in November 2007, according to charging documents.
In that case, a 21-year-old Renton woman cracked open her apartment door to a knock from an unknown man on her doorstep, charging papers say. He asked to borrow her phone, she handed it out to him, he dialed a few numbers and handed it back, then “immediately pushed the door open,” entered the apartment and clamped a hand over the woman’s mouth, the charges say.
He closed and locked the door, then threatened the woman with a knife, according to charging papers. She offered him money and pleaded with him not to hurt her, but she continued to fight and scream as he knocked her to the floor and tried to rape her, the papers say.
The woman was able to get away and run into her kitchen, where she grabbed a pot of Rice-A-Roni and struck the man with it: “She could not remember exactly where on his body it connected, but the suspect let go of her and she ran out the front door,” the charges say.
A witness who was walking his dog saw a man run from the woman’s apartment “with his head down like he had been injured,” say the papers. He jumped in a car in the parking lot and drove off.
The alleged victim had the suspect’s blood on her clothes, and police found blood smears inside the woman’s apartment, also belonging to the suspect, the papers say. But when the suspect’s DNA was run through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), there was no match and the case was closed, according to the charges.
In August, forensic scientists at the State Patrol Crime Lab in Seattle matched Staples’ DNA to both the Renton and Skyway cases, say the charges.
Staples was arrested Nov. 12 after detectives went to his workplace in Kent to question him about the two incidents, say the charges. He remains jailed at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent in lieu of $500,000 bail, jail records show.