King County prosecutors are seeking to have the criminal case against a 15-year-old Renton boy accused of raping and beating a woman last month moved from juvenile court to adult court.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Philip Sanchez on Wednesday requested that a discretionary decline hearing be held for the boy, who was charged last week with first-degree rape, first-degree assault and first-degree burglary for the May 29 attack on a 32-year-old Renton woman. The hearing is set for July 10.
The 15-year-old waived his presence and did not appear in court.
The Seattle Times does not identify juvenile defendants unless they are charged as adults.
It is rare but not unheard of for youth younger than 16 to be prosecuted as adults. The two most-recent cases, one against a 14-year-old and the other involving a 15-year-old, were for separate murders committed in 2016. Both boys were convicted and sentenced to 16 1/2 years and nearly 14 years, respectively, court records show.
Sixteen and 17-year-olds charged with serious violent crimes, including rape and murder, can be “auto declined” to adult, or superior, court, meaning the juvenile court automatically declines jurisdiction. But for youth younger than 16, a discretionary decline hearing must be held for a judge to determine whether a case is moved to adult court or remains in juvenile court.
According to the charges:
Just after 3 a.m. on May 29, a Renton patrol officer heard an audible alarm and stopped to investigate. He pulled into the parking lot at 200 Mill Ave. S. and found a woman, covered in blood, seated on some stairs. She told the officer she had been attacked, and he summoned medics, who took the woman to a hospital where she was treated for her injuries and underwent a sexual-assault exam.
The woman later told police she had no memory of the assault but said she had spent the previous evening drinking alcohol with a friend in Seattle and fell asleep on a Metro bus on her way home to Renton.
Detectives obtained video-surveillance footage from the bus, which showed the woman boarding the coach at Fifth Avenue and Jackson Street just before 10 p.m. on May 28. A young male was seen getting on the bus behind her and followed her to the back row.
Both got off the bus at the Renton Transit Center. The video footage showed the woman was “obviously impaired due to her staggered, uneven gait,” the charges say. The male approached her and after a brief conversation, she walked with him the roughly six blocks to the parking lot.
From the video footage, detectives determined the woman was unconscious when she was repeatedly raped, punched, kicked and stomped on during the nearly hourlong attack, the charges say.
The woman’s attacker took her cellphone and a bag of her belongings.
Her mother tracked the woman’s cellphone to a kiosk at a Fred Meyer store that allows adults to sell their cellphones and other electronics to a machine. Police obtained video-surveillance footage from the store that showed two males using the kiosk and later learned that an 18-year-old friend, who said he had no knowledge of the rape, sold the phone on the suspect’s behalf.
After police made public still photos from the Fred Meyer store, the 15-year-old went to the Renton Police Department on June 6 and was arrested, charging papers say. He remains in custody at the King County Youth Detention Center.