A 30-year-old Lakewood man was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for raping three women in Seattle over 15 days.
A King County Superior Court judge sentenced a Lakewood man to 33 1/3 years in prison on Friday for raping three women — two of them sex workers — over 15 days in March 2014.
A jury found Christopher Beck guilty last month of two counts of first-degree rape and one count each of second-degree rape and second-degree robbery, though they returned a not-guilty verdict on a second count of second-degree robbery.
Because Beck was convicted of violent sex crimes, it will be up to the state’s Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board to determine whether to release him after he’s served his sentence or add additional time to his prison term. Should he be released, Beck will be required to register as a sex offender for life.
Before Judge Theresa Doyle handed down her sentence, defense attorney Walt Peale said Beck deserved a 25-year sentence, the low end of the standard range, because each victim “contributed significantly to the crime being committed” by engaging in illegal sex work.
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“This was not a predatory act,” he said of Beck’s crimes.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Hugh Barber said Beck is a serial rapist who terrorized women he specifically targeted because he thought they wouldn’t report the rapes to police and if they did, that no one would believe them.
“It is astonishing to me to hear the words come out of Mr. Peale’s mouth that Mr. Beck was not predatory,” Barber said. “Are you kidding me?”
Beck, 30, testified during his trial that he had consensual “sexual encounters” with each of the women — and he maintained his innocence on Friday.
“My actions were to solicit prostitutes and that’s what I did,” Beck said. “I never raped them, I never took advantage of them sexually.”
Doyle, however, said it was clear from the women’s testimony at trial that they felt terrorized by Beck.
“It doesn’t matter that the victims were sex workers,” Doyle told Beck, noting they “have the same right to be free from violence” as anyone else.
Beck initially contacted all three of his victims through online ads the women posted offering sexual services in exchange for money.
Two of the women advertised erotic massages, while the third, a longtime heroin addict, was possibly looking to sell her underwear in order to make rent at a motel in Georgetown, the jury heard.
Beck didn’t pay any of the women. All three women — who were strangers to each other — testified Beck attacked, choked and raped them.
The Seattle Times typically does not name victims or alleged victims of sex crimes.
Beck lived in Lakewood with his mother but testified he was staying at the Panama Hotel in Seattle’s Pioneer Square in March 2014 — a location that put him between a half-mile and 4 miles from where the rapes occurred.
Beck was accused of raping the first woman, an erotic-massage provider, on March 4, 2014, at her First Hill studio.
He was accused of raping a second woman nine days later in the back seat of his car in the parking lot of a closed McDonald’s in South Seattle. The jury heard that the woman, a heroin user, had posted an ad for help with rent — and she ran away barefoot and half-naked to seek help after the rape.
The third woman, a sex worker from Florida, testified she was choked and raped March 19, 2014, in her room at the Westin Seattle Hotel.