Nearly two years after a woman was raped in Tacoma, DNA from blood left on her hands has led to charges against a 32-year-old man.
Christopher Rivera-Cook pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and felony harassment. He was ordered held without bail.
Charging papers give this account:
The woman left a bar around closing time Dec. 18, 2014, and walked to her car. Moments later, a man opened the passenger door and ordered her to drive.
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She “said she was afraid and thought if she just gave the suspect a ride he wouldn’t hurt her.”
Once they parked behind a business, the man sexually assaulted the woman, punched her in the face and tried to strangle her.
She was able to stab his face with her car keys several times before fleeing. His blood later was collected from her hands at the hospital.
The man fled in the woman’s car after telling her, “ ‘I didn’t want to do this.’ ”
The woman sought help from another man walking down the street. He helped her to a gas station in the 5600 block of South Junett Street and called police.
Officers said they found the woman half dressed and huddled near the cash register. They took her to the hospital to undergo a rape exam.
Later that morning, the woman’s car was crashed into a parked car, and neighbors reported seeing a drunken man stagger down the street. Rivera-Cook’s wallet was found in the car.
In February, DNA from the suspect’s blood matched Rivera-Cook’s, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
The victim said in a letter to the court that she couldn’t work for a month after the assault and suffers from depression, anxiety and insomnia.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653