A man who prosecutors alleged kidnapped two people off the streets of Tacoma and raped them in 2015 pleaded guilty to lesser charges after witnesses’ stories fell apart, according to court documents.
Kenny Washington, 47, pleaded guilty earlier this month in Pierce County Superior Court to three counts of third-degree assault and received an exceptional 10-year sentence. He then will serve three years on probation.
Washington, who faced life in prison without parole if convicted of his third “strike” offense, originally was charged with three counts of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree kidnapping and two counts of felony harassment.
Prosecutors alleged Washington picked up two women by force in March 2015 and raped them.
The first incident happened 6 p.m. March 14 at South 19th Street and Yakima Avenue. Prosecutors said Washington forced a 25-year-old woman into his car before raping her, then let her go.
The second incident was at 9 a.m. March 17 in the 3200 block of East D Street. Prosecutors said Washington forced another woman into his car and tried to rape her twice. Partially dressed, she jumped out of Washington’s moving car, documents said.
DNA and surveillance footage led police to Washington, who told investigators the sex was consensual and that he paid for it.
When prosecutors tried to put the case together for Washington’s trial, they ran into a series of problems they detailed in a statement to the court.
One victim refused to meet with defense attorneys for an interview despite a yearlong effort from prosecutors.
The other woman met with defense attorneys, but gave inconsistent statements that prosecutors believed would be exploited. And the woman who saw the victim jump from the car and who could corroborate the victim’s statements is dead.
The “significant evidentiary issues” led prosecutors to pursue a plea for a non-strike offense and the extraordinary sentence, to which Washington agreed.