Police said Ronald David Rodriguez attempted to rape a 22-year-old patient at Phoenix Rising as she slept.

Share story

A security guard at a housing and treatment facility for vulnerable young adults in Auburn has been charged with sexually assaulting one of its residents.

Video footage showed that the guard, Ronald David Rodriguez, attempted to rape the 22-year-old woman as she slept, according to an Auburn police report. He then grabbed her by the throat when she awoke and tried to resist, strangling her to the point that she began to lose consciousness.

In a court filing Thursday in King County Superior Court, Rodriguez is accused of taking indecent liberties and assault in the second degree of the woman. She “was incapable of consent by reason of being mentally incapacitated and physically helpless,” according to the charging document.

The attack occurred on Oct. 5 at Phoenix Rising, a facility providing housing and specialized services for young people struggling with addiction, mental-health issues and homelessness. It is part of the larger Valley Cities Behavioral Health campus in Auburn.

Rodriguez initially denied sexually assaulting the victim when he was arrested on Oct. 9 by Auburn police. When confronted with the existence of video, he admitted to groping the victim and to strangling her “a little,” according to the police report.

The woman told police she had first met Rodriguez three months earlier, when she was first admitted to the facility. She said he had then made her uncomfortable by trying to persuade her to be alone with him. She said she grew fearful of him and left the facility to live on the streets.

She was readmitted a few weeks before the attack for treatment of her drug addiction, police said.

The woman reported being attacked by Rodriguez to the director of Phoenix Rising, Lorie Larson. She also told Larson that Rodriguez had been sexually involved with another woman at the nearby “Ray of Hope” facility, a day center for homeless individuals.

Larson confirmed with the second woman that she had had a sexual relationship with Rodriguez that was initially consensual, according to the police report. That woman told Larson that Rodriguez had become aggressive and she left the program and avoided its services in fear of him.

On Thursday, prosecutors asked for bail to be raised to $200,000, according to the court documents.