A man accused of grabbing female joggers and burying his face in their buttocks in a Seattle park is scheduled for trial this week in King County Superior Court.

Share story

Jury selection could begin as early as Monday in the trial of a man accused of grabbing female joggers and burying his face in their buttocks in West Seattle’s Lincoln Park.

Duane “Eddie” Starkenburg, 47, is charged with two counts of indecent liberties and one count of attempted indecent liberties for attacks on three women in August and December 2010 and January 2011. Starkenburg has maintained his innocence, insisting in one instance he had slipped and fallen.

In August 2010, a woman said a man grabbed her hips and planted his face in her buttocks while she jogged in the park, according to a Seattle police report.

The woman told police the man said it was an accident, the report said.

In the December attack, a woman identified by the initials TC told police she was walking up some stairs to the parking lot in Lincoln Park when a man asked for her help, saying he had injured his shin. She let him hold on to her shoulder and helped him up, the report says.

As they reached a landing, “the suspect got behind TC and that’s when he grabbed her by the hips,” it says. The woman screamed as he pushed his face into her buttocks, according to the report.

The man attempted to grab the woman’s ankles, but she kicked him and got loose, the report says. She turned and saw him lying on the ground. “He told her, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I did that. I’m sorry,’ ” according to the report.

The man claimed it was an accident.

The most recent attack happened just before 4 p.m. on Jan. 25, 2011, as a 27-year-old woman was jogging on Lincoln Park’s waterfront trail. She told police a man ran up behind her and attempted to tackle her, throwing his arms around her legs. The woman, who was not injured, was able to break free and get away.

Starkenburg was arrested a short time later as he attempted to cross Fauntleroy Way Southwest, according to police.

Following Starkenburg’s arrest, the two other women identified him from a photo montage, police said.

After a court appearance, Starkenburg told the media he was “outraged” by his arrest and insisted he had slipped in the January 2011 incident.

“It’s not like I’m this guy who puts on makeup and is running around attacking women,” he said.

Starkenburg is also facing an unrelated charge of first-degree child rape, for which he is to be tried at a later date.

During the follow-up investigation into the Lincoln Park incidents, a Seattle police detective interviewed a woman who claimed Starkenburg had molested her daughter when the girl was 9 or 10. The alleged victim, now 20, told detectives that Starkenburg offered “a massage” and then molested her.

Seattle Times staff reporter Sara Jean Green and news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report.