A West Seattle man vehemently insisted Friday that he didn’t rape a woman in February 2017 after she suffered a stroke following a car crash. But King County Superior Court Judge Roger Rogoff said video-surveillance footage was proof of his disrespect for his victim and her body.
Rogoff, who presided over the rape and assault trial of Chayce Hanson earlier this year, said he re-watched the surveillance footage from outside a West Seattle restaurant that showed Hanson groping and kissing his victim, who was passed out cold, unable to even lift her head.
“This is a woman who is being sexually assaulted and has no ability to do anything about it. Period,” Rogoff said.
Instead of getting the woman someplace safe or summoning medical help, Rogoff said Hanson — who was apparently driving drunk — slammed his pickup into some rockery, causing the woman’s head injury and subsequent stroke. He then took her home and raped her.
Rogoff sentenced him to just over 25 years in prison, the top end of the standard sentencing range.
A jury found Hanson, 43, guilty last month of second-degree rape, finding his victim was incapable of consenting to sex. He was also convicted of second-degree assault with sexual motivation, felony hit-and-run and witness tampering for attempting to get his victim to recant the rape allegation. Because Hanson was convicted of two felony sex crimes, the sentence handed down by Rogoff is indeterminate.
That means that before Hanson can be released from prison, he will have to go before the state Indeterminate Sentence Review Board. Board members can add up to five years at a time to his sentence — up to a maximum sentence of life — if they determine it is more likely than not that Hanson will reoffend if he is released.
Hanson showed “callous disregard” for his victim on the night he raped her — something he never would have had the chance to do if not for a state Supreme Court ruling in 2002, known as the Andress decision, said Senior Deputy Prosecutor Paul Sewell.
In 2001, Hanson was convicted of second-degree murder for kicking his then-girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter to death in July 2000. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
But after the state Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that a person cannot be charged with felony murder when someone dies as a result of an assault, Hanson’s murder conviction was reversed. In 2006, he was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault of a child and was sentenced to just over 10 years in prison. Hanson was given credit for the six years he had already served and was released from prison in July 2009.
“Andress gave the defendant a new chance, a fresh start,” said Sewell.
But Hanson squandered that chance: He was twice convicted of fourth-degree assault domestic violence for beating up a girlfriend in 2011 and 2012, and he spent about two years in a Nevada prison on a burglary charge, Sewell said.
Hanson’s victim, now also 43, called Hanson a monster, saying he treats people like objects and has shown no remorse.
“On that night, he could’ve just let me be. He could not have molested and groped an unconscious female in his car … He watched me hit the windshield,” but didn’t call an ambulance or get her to a hospital, she said.
The woman told Rogoff she will always have memory and cognitive issues as a result of the stroke and still undergoes therapy at Harborview Medical Center. She’s been unable to work since the attack, but is studying to become a Japanese interpreter.
The Seattle Times typically does not identify victims of sex crimes.
Hanson’s defense attorney, Myles Johnson, yelled at times while suggesting that Hanson did not have a fair trial, though he said Hanson deserved some punishment.
“He did not rape that woman. The evidence does not support that,” Johnson said.
Hanson, who also claimed he didn’t get a fair trial, called his victim a liar but acknowledged “she was super drunk” on the night he took her home.