A convicted rapist and his companion, both suspected drug dealers, are accused of tying a woman to a bed and repeatedly raping her at a Bellwood Drive residence over a 24-hour period, during which one of the suspects allegedly recorded the assault with his phone.
The Thurston County SWAT team helped Thurston County sheriff’s detectives arrest both suspects Thursday morning at the home in the 4800 block of Bellwood Drive, off Boston Harbor Road. Inside the home, detectives found a set of “law enforcement-style” handcuffs and velcro straps that were hooked to the bed.
“The evidence we found at the scene is very consistent with the story of the victim,” Thurston County sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Brady said Friday.
Daniel Kearney, 40, who resides at the Bellwood Drive address, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping with sexual motivation, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, unlawful possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Kearney has a 1991 conviction for first-degree rape in Thurston County. If he is convicted of rape again, it will be a “second strike” for a violent sex offense, which carries an automatic sentence of life in prison. Kearney has 12 prior felony convictions.
Kearney’s companion at the home, Michael Dement, 28, of Yelm, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping with sexual motivation.
Kearney’s bail was set at $750,000; Dement’s bail was set at $500,000.
The alleged rape occurred about a month ago, but the woman did not come forward at that time because she feared her attackers might kill her in retaliation, and because there was a misdemeanor warrant for her arrest, court papers state.
In addition to the items that corroborate the woman’s rape accusation, detectives also found stolen property and drugs. A Honda dirt bike that was reported stolen out of Pierce County was in the garage. In a bedroom, detectives found “a large plastic tub” filled with uncut white crystals that tested positive for methamphetamine. Detectives also seized three handguns, a shotgun and a substantial amount of marijuana.
Brady said Thursday’s arrests are an example of the county’s new multijurisdictional investigative team working together on a case. The team includes police from Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater, in addition to the Sheriff’s Office.
Brady said law enforcement agencies have received numerous reports of alleged rapes committed by Kearney. However, he said that when rapes are committed by people who are also selling drugs to their victims, those victims are sometimes afraid to go to law enforcement for help.
According to court papers, there have been “multiple unsubstantiated reports about Kearney raping men and women over illegal narcotics debts.”
Brady said the Sheriff’s Office hopes that any other potential victims come forward. The case involving Kearney and Dement is still an open, active investigation, Brady added.
“We have reason to believe that there are going to be other victims coming forward,” Brady said.
In the case involving the woman whose rape allegation led to Thursday’s arrests, Brady said detective Mitch King sought the victim out to see if she would come forward. She “began to cry and advised she was more than willing to speak with him about that event,” court papers state.
According to court papers:
The woman said she met Kearney and Dement about a month ago at the Olympia west-side Safeway to purchase heroin. She said they took her to the Bellwood Drive address, and as soon as they were inside, Dement and Kearney began to assault her. She said “Dement pulled her along the floor by her hair while Kearney handcuffed her.” They then tied her to the bed and sexually assaulted her over a 24-hour period.
Author: Jeremy Pawlosk, The Bellingham Herald
Date: March 23, 2013
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