A man who last weekend allegedly assaulted the same White Center woman he was convicted of raping in September has apparently fled to Mexico, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.
In a tweet Thursday morning, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott posted an update on the case along with a photo of the suspect, Francisco Carranza-Ramirez, showing him with short hair and a clean-shaven face. A photo of Carranza-Ramirez released by the Sheriff’s Office earlier this week showed him with long black hair, a beard and mustache.
“Detectives believe he has fled to Mexico. His warrants will remain active. I have attached his updated photo where he has cut his hair and shaved his face,” Abbott wrote.
The photo of Carranza-Ramirez is the same photo that was posted on a Facebook page presumably belonging to the 35-year-old on Wednesday.
Carranza-Ramirez entered an Alford plea to a third-degree rape charge during his February arraignment, admitting a jury would likely find him guilty. He was released from jail last Thursday, June 13, receiving credit for the nearly nine months he served behind bars after being charged n September.
Over the objections of the state, Superior Court Judge Nicole Gaines Phelps agreed not to impose 12 months of community custody after Carranza-Ramirez agreed to voluntarily leave the country and return to his native Mexico. He was supposed to board a flight to California on Monday, then cross the border by land.
In between getting out of jail and leaving the country, Carranza-Ramirez is accused of tracking down the 32-year-old rape victim on Sunday, pushing her out of her wheelchair and beating and choking her in front of her young son, according to court records. Passers-by intervened and the woman’s attacker fled before deputies arrived.
Carranza-Ramirez has since been charged with second-degree assault, felony harassment, intimidating a witness and felony violation of a sexual-assault protection order in connection with the attack on the victim, court records show. Each of those charges includes a rapid-recidivism allegation, which, if proven, would allow prosecutors to potentially seek an exceptional sentence because the most recent crimes were allegedly committed three days after Carranza-Ramirez was released from jail.
It’s unknown when Carranza-Ramirez left the Seattle area for Mexico.
On Thursday, Judge Phelps declined through a court spokeswoman to discuss the case. Under the Washington State Code of Judicial Conduct, judges are not allowed to make public statements that could affect the outcome or impair fairness in a matter pending in any court.
Carranza-Ramirez was convicted of raping the victim in her White Center home on Sept. 26.
The victim’s friends have launched a GoFundMe campaign, seeking to raise $39,000 to help the single mother — who was recently laid off from her job — cover living expenses and other costs as she recovers.
Abbott, the sheriff’s spokesman, said U.S. Marshals are aiding sheriff’s detectives and working with Mexican authorities to locate and apprehend Carranza-Ramirez so he can be extradited back to King County.
When asked about Carranza-Ramirez’s immigration status, Bryan Wilcox, the acting Seattle field office director for enforcement and removal operations under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said Thursday he couldn’t confirm Carranza-Ramirez’s identity. As a result, his immigration status in the U.S. is “indeterminate,” Wilcox said.
“We have no information on this person in any immigration database,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox first learned of the case involving Carranza-Ramirez through news accounts. Since then, he said his office has verified a record of birth with Mexican officials.
“We’re pretty sure he is who he says he is. I just can’t definitively say that’s the case,” Wilcox said.