Crime

State worker accused of raping woman with mental capacity of 8-year-old

An employee at a Buckley facility for people with developmental disabilities is accused of raping a woman who has the mental capacity of an 8-year-old, according to court records.

Pierce County prosecutors charged 60 year-old Terry Wayne Shepard with second-degree rape Monday. Shepard’s bail was set at $500,000.

According to charging papers:

Shepard works at the Rainier School, a center run by the state Department of Social and Health Services. He was booked into jail Sunday after another employee, who told police Shepard is her supervisor, reported the alleged rape.

She said she was looking for Shepard to ask whether she could take a break and found him in a resident’s room, having sex with the woman.

“The client is a non-verbal autistic adult with an estimated mental age of an eight-year-old,” deputy prosecutor Erica Eggertsen wrote in the declaration for determination of probable cause.

Shepard denied having sex with the resident when police interviewed him.

DSHS said in a statement Monday that it will take “swift disciplinary action — up to an including termination.”

The agency said it was cooperating with Buckley police and the Washington State Patrol in their investigations.

“It is absolutely abhorrent that someone would do this to one of our residents,” Evelyn Perez, assistant secretary of DSHS Developmental Disabilities Administration, which operates Rainer School, said in the statement.

“We are grateful for the quick response by the staff member who witnessed this heinous act and took immediate action.”

Court records did not list an attorney for Shepard.

A News Tribune state salary database compiled with public records appears to list Shepard’s 2015 salary as $46,800, and his position at that time as attendant counselor 2.

According to a posting on governmentjobs.com, the job of an attendant counselor 2 is to “provide specialized direct care, support and training to persons with intellectual disabilities in their home on campus or at other locations on and off campus.”

That includes helping clients with daily living skills and monitoring staff members, the posting said.

About 320 adults live at the Rainier School, which provides 24-hour care, and is designed to encourage them to be as independent as possible.

Staff writer Kenny Ocker contributed to this report.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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