The Lakewood Police Officers’ Memorial Act was used for the first time this week to keep a dangerous suspect behind bars. The individual is the suspect in a rape, torture and kidnapping case. Though he has no previous felonies, the weight of his potential sentence – life in prison – and his serious risk to the public allowed the judge to deny bail based on last fall’s voter-approved House Joint Resolution 4220.
Rep. Mike Hope sponsored the new law and says he is disgusted with the case and is glad the suspect will remain behind bars.
“This was why we designed the Lakewood Police Officers’ Memorial Act – for individuals like this who pose a real and serious risk to public safety,” said Hope, R-Lake Stevens. “I was sickened to learn the details of this case and am glad the victim was able to escape. We must continue to protect the public from inherently dangerous individuals like this and that’s why I sponsored this new law.”
Earlier this month, the victim was taken from Seattle to the suspect’s home in Tacoma. After being restrained and tortured, the victim revealed she had help on the way if the suspect did not release her. The suspect verified a text message sent from the victim to her boyfriend. She was then released. The primary detective on the scene after the victim was released described a pre-made torture chamber with thick walls so the victim’s screams could not be heard.
The suspect was arrested and booked on three counts: first degree kidnapping, first degree rape, and second degree assault. With those charges comes a possible sentence of life in prison. The King County Prosecutor’s Office requested a $1 million bail. However, after the judge understood the gruesome details of the case, he denied bail based on the standards required under the new Lakewood law.
The Lakewood Police Officers’ Memorial Act was passed by the Legislature in March 2010. Because it amended the state constitution, it went to the voters in November, who approved it with an 85 percent margin.
King County Councilman and former federal prosecutor Reagan Dunn helped promote the measure and believes this is the correct use of the new law.
“This is the type of crime we envisioned for the application of the new Lakewood law, and shows exactly why we needed to give our judges more discretion to deny bail,” Dunn said.
Hope said he remains dedicated to protecting the public and keeping communities safe and will continue to work on common-sense reforms in the criminal justice system.